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Rudy Giuliani remains the frontrunner for the Republican Party's presidential candidacy in the 2008 election. He is running primarily, if not exclusively, on his 9-11 credentials, whatever that actually is supposed to mean.
Today the NY Times reveals that Rudy spent a sum total of 29 hours at ground zero from Sept 17th through December 16th, 2001. This despite Rudy's recent claim that he was at ground zero, "as often, if not more" than the workers there.
But here's what The Reverend wants readers to note from the Times article....
Asked to reconcile what the records show with Mr. Giuliani's public comments about the extent of his exposure to the site, his campaign provided a written statement from Joseph J. Lhota, a former deputy mayor.
"Hundreds of thousands of people around the country and the world saw Rudy Giuliani's steadfast and determined leadership firsthand at a time when we needed it most," the statement said.
Note specifically the words "saw" and "leadership".
The Republican Party's front runner, Rudy Giuliani, didn't have to, you know, actually DO anything......he just had to be seen, as if he were doing something. That's what passes, and has for a long time, for "leadership" within the Republican Party. Just think of the "Mission Accomplished" teevee moment.
It isn't that Rudy had ANYTHING at all to do with leading a fight against 'them there terrorists'.....it is enough that he was perceived that way. Why? Because we "saw" him repeatedly on the teevee after 9-11. It isn't that the "combat phase" of the illegal invasion of Iraq was over when Bush proudly displayed his "Codpiece", but he said that it was and, by God, he looked and sounded like a leader on the teevee screen. Close enough.
That's what makes a Republican leader. That's why Fred Thompson, and for that matter Ronald Reagan, are regarded as strong Republican leaders. Not because they DID anything, but because they appeared as strong leaders on the teevee. Hell, 'Red Truck' Fred is still on the teevee.
And isn't that what teevee is all about? Perception? Illusion? Make believe?
It isn't that Rudy Giuliani is some strong terrorist-hunter-gatherer-leader with profound understanding of how to deal with Islamic extremism. He simply played that role on the teevee.
And that's all the Repblican Party is looking for in a "leader".