The Leadership of America's Mayor

Posted: Jan 02, 2008 11:48 AM
The Leadership of America's Mayor

“Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”

So said Harry Truman, our 33rd President. And so I firmly believe. I’ve seen what true leadership looks like. I understand what it can mean for a society. And I know that, above all else, tested, proven leadership is what our nation needs as we move further into this still-young century.

When I say I’ve seen what real leadership looks like I am referring to Rudy Giuliani, once New York’s and now “America’s Mayor.” From the very moment he entered public life, Rudy has distinguished himself as a steady yet forceful leader.

I served with Rudy Giuliani in New York City for six years, first as Commissioner of the Fire Department, then as Commissioner of the NYPD. These positions, amongst the highest privileges of my life, afforded me the repeated opportunity to observe Rudy during times of crisis. The way in which he handled the challenges that arose during his Mayoralty—from long-term issues like crime rates and taxes to the day-to-day emergencies that inevitably impact a working metropolis—has proven Rudy to be amongst the most effective and resolute executives this country has ever produced.

Today, we face a challenge equal to the great threats of generations past. The Greatest Generation toppled Nazism and fought the Cold War. Their children helped bring down the Berlin Wall. For us, the defining issue of our time is the Terrorists’ War on Us.

Rudy Giuliani understands this challenge intimately. He knows that we must confront, and defeat, the threat of Islamic terrorism from a position of strength, not weakness.

As he has traveled both the country and the world over the years, Rudy has approached this issue from a place of hope and optimism, an approach born of his faith in the American people and our ability to persevere in the face of whatever adversity may develop.

As Americans, we have the good fortune of living in a nation that was formed, and has been long defined, by the strength of our ideas, of our people, and of our leaders. Our ideas remain as powerful as they have ever been. So too, do the American people, as evident in the steely resolve and overwhelming compassion that surfaced following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. And Rudy Giuliani is the leader—the President—we now need. America has seen how this man responds to challenge--his courage and strength in times of crisis, his determined eloquence and forceful command in the face of tragedy.

If, as President Truman said, “men make history, and not the other way around,” then this election is not just about how we live over the next four or eight years, but about the history that we create and the America we preserve for the generations that will follow us. It’s a decision that could not be more consequential. We cannot afford a deficiency of leadership. We cannot afford a society that stands still. We need proven, skillful leadership, and it is right in front of us, well within our grasp, in the form of a President Giuliani.