The winds of change are blowing — and they smell just like the streets of Times Square on a 90-degree summer afternoon with no breeze and 100 percent humidity. Not pretty. giulianiThe same rank smell the night Rudy “America’s Mayor” Giuliani spoke before the Republican National Convention Aug. 30, 2004. Since the Republican National Convention has announced that Giuliani will bestow us with a reprise as the keynoter at the upcoming GOP confab, I thought we might revisit some of the more prescient passages from his first auspicious address:

It was here in 2001 in lower Manhattan that President George W. Bush stood amid the fallen towers of the World Trade Center and said to the barbaric terrorists who attacked us, ‘They will hear from us’

They have heard from us! They heard from us in Afghanistan and we removed the Taliban. They heard from us in Iraq and we ended Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror.

They heard from us in Libya and without firing a shot Gadhafi abandoned weapons of mass destruction.

They are hearing from us in nations that are now more reluctant to sponsor terrorists.

So long as George Bush is President, is there any doubt they will continue to hear from us until we defeat global terrorism…

…We did the best we could to communicate a message of calm and hope, as we stood on the pavement seeing a massive cloud rushing through the cavernous streets of lower Manhattan.

Our people were so brave in their response. At the time, we believed we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, “Thank God George Bush is our President.”

And I say it again tonight, “Thank God George Bush is our President.”

On September 11, George W. Bush had been President less than eight months. This new president, vice president, and new administration were faced with the worst crisis in our history.

President Bush’s response in keeping us unified and in turning the ship of state around from being solely on defense against terrorism to being on offense as well and for his holding us together.

For that and then his determined effort to defeat global terrorism, no matter what happens in this election, President George W. Bush already has earned a place in our history as a great American president.

But let’s not wait for history to present the correct view of our president. Let us write our own history. We need George Bush now more than ever…
…President Bush is the leader we need for the next four years because he sees beyond today and tomorrow. He has a vision of a peaceful Middle East and, therefore, a safer world. We will see an end to global terrorism. I can see it. I believe it. I know it will happen.

It may seem a long way off. It may even seem idealistic. But it may not be as far away and idealistic as it seems.

Look how quickly the Berlin Wall was torn down, the Iron Curtain ripped open and the Soviet Union disintegrated because of the power of the pent-up demand for freedom.

When it catches hold there is nothing more powerful than freedom. Give it some hope, and it will overwhelm dictators, and even defeat terrorists. That is what we have done and must continue to do in Iraq.

That is what the Republican Party does best — when we are at our best, we extend freedom.