Thursday, September 4, 2008


Why is it that former politicians, after having spent years on the stump appearing serious and straightjacketed living off the bus, seeking perpetual approval, seem to flower once they’ve left their political posts? Giuliani gave one of the best, and no doubt funniest speeches of his career at the Republican Convention, moments before the landmark speech delivered by Sarah Palin. Where was this Giuliani and what happened to the one who tentatively dropped his hat into the Republican leadership race not so many months ago?

Rudolph Giuliani delivered a confident address with uncanny use of timing that would have been the envy of even the best comedians. Even some of his straight lines were delivered with humor. Where was this talent for timing and delivery when his back-of-the-pack-behind-Ron-Paul position in the primaries, and Florida no-show, needed him? Where was this currently surfacing capacity hiding during those lengthy boring attempts to sway listeners, and voters? His Convention speech was so entertaining that we can excuse him bringing up 9/11 once again to remind America of his leadership role during its darkest moment in recent history.

Whoever wrote his lines, “change is not a destination … just as hope is not a strategy,” may have given him the words, but Giuliani delivered them, again, with perfect timing and intonation. These comments addressed a concern no doubt present in the minds of most viewers, even those in support of the Democratic candidate. Obama has done a masterful job crafting his own image and presentation, ensuring that along the way he offended as few as possible. Giuliani threw a dart on Obama’s limited voting record and career with, “it’s not good enough to be present; you have to make a decision.” Like or dislike Giuliani, his point was made, succinctly, seriously, but with a smile, and difficult to deny.

Giuliani’s natural ability blossomed at what may have been the most important moment of the Republican Convention, the coming out of the Party’s V.P. candidate. Perhaps ego stifled Giuliani’s abilities in the past, when he personally had too much to lose or gain from a misstep or misspeak. Is it that now he has no high-risk puddles to step into that might really be bottomless pits? It is very likely that we did not really witness a new Giuliani, but simply the same old one with some objectionable veneers removed.

The extreme need or want of a political position seems to strangle the ability to be natural, honest, straightforward, humorous, or human. Perhaps more politicians could shed those restrictive shackles tightening their abilities at any podium, and choking their personalities. Thanks Mr. Giuliani for reminding us of what to look for, and what really resonates.


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