- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The same Beltway experts who declared Sen. John McCain of Arizona the Republican front-runner, even as he underpolled fellow presidential contender Rudolph Giuliani, now parrot equally dodgy concepts.

When Republicans meet “the real Rudy,” they will abandon New York’s former mayor like cattle fleeing a burning barn. Then, the wobbly Washington wisdom continues, Mr. Giuliani’s three marriages, and his less-than-solidly-right-wing views on gays, guns and gametes will torpedo his buoyant presidential hopes.

These seers now detect unhappiness with the Republican aspirants. They cite a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in which 26 percent of Republican primary voters were dissatisfied with Mr. Giuliani, Mr. McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, among others. However, 56 percent called these choices satisfactory. This mirrors the 57 percent of conservative Republicans who preferred Mr. Giuliani, versus 31 percent for Mr. McCain.

More broadly, Republicans backed Mr. Giuliani by 38 percent to Mr. McCain’s 24, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s 10, Mr. Romney’s 8, and 2 percent each for Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. But what if voters like Mr. Giuliani better on understanding his pre-September 11, 2001, performance? Educating Republicans on his complete mayoral record, and soon, may be his best bet for extinguishing the lingering grumbling about his candidacy.

I recently visited Baltimore, Charlotte, N.C., Richmond, Va., Salem, Ore., Seattle, and Johnstown, Pa., mainly to deliver speeches sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation. I conversed with conservative activists, College Republican leaders, university professors and think-tank scholars, among others.

These Americans vividly remember Mr. Giuliani emerging from the ashes of September 11 like a latter-day Churchill rising from the rubble of the London Blitz. However, these involved and informed citizens knew startlingly little about his other mayoral achievements:

Through robust policing, Mr. Giuliani drove overall crime down 56.1 percent, while chopping homicides 66.6 percent, from 1,946 in 1993 to 649 in 2001.

Following national trends, abortions on Mr. Giuliani’s watch dropped 16.9 percent, while taxpayer-funded Medicaid abortions plunged 23 percent.

Gotham’s foster-care population fell 38 percent as Mr. Giuliani helped loving families adopt 17,804 boys and girls.

By fighting fraud and finding work for legitimate beneficiaries, Mr. Giuliani cut welfare rolls 58 percent, starting two years before federal welfare reform. He renamed welfare offices “Job Centers.”

Mr. Giuliani privatized 23,625 previously confiscated, city-owned dwellings, 78 percent of supply, benefiting family and individual homeowners and tenants.

Mr. Giuliani dumped New York City’s 20 percent set-aside and 10 percent overbid bonus for minority and female contractors. “The whole idea of quotas to me perpetuates discrimination,” he explained. He initiated this on his 24th day in office, far exceeding any colorblindness legislation Congress even debated during the 12-year “Republican Revolution.”

Mr. Giuliani’s $10 million Charter School Improvement Fund helped 3,286 pupils in 17 new charter schools, up from $0 and zero campuses in 1997. He ended tenure for school principals, so slackers could be sacked. He also stopped social promotion; students needed to complete grade-level work to matriculate.

Ex-pornography center Times Square now welcomes families, tourists and locals for fully clothed musicals like “The Lion King” and “Mary Poppins.”

Beyond these socially conservative victories, Mr. Giuliani governed as a Reaganesque supply-sider:

He scrapped three taxes and slashed 20 others, lowering Gotham’s tax burden by 17 percent and saving individual and business taxpayers $9.8 billion.

While inflation averaged 3.9 percent, Mr. Giuliani’s average spending grew 2.9 percent annually. If the departed Republican Congress were that fiscally disciplined, the next federal budget would be $2.275 trillion — $625 billion lower than proposed.

While hiring 12 percent more cops and 12.8 percent more teachers, Mr. Giuliani sliced other positions 17.2 percent. Overall, the municipal head count fell 3.1 percent.

He got this done thanks largely to a management style he described Wednesday at a $2 million Manhattan fundraiser: “I’m impatient and single-minded about my goals.”

Mr. Giuliani’s legacy has earned the endorsements of such screaming liberals as President Bush’s former solicitor general, Ted Olson, Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, and Rep. Pete Sessions, Texas Republican — the last two both proud owners of 100 percent ratings from the National Right to Life Committee.

Before Mr. Giuliani’s enemies caricature him as a divorce-driven, abortion-peddling, gun-grabbing transvestite, he should familiarize Republicans with his mayoral accomplishments. From Westwood to Washington’s echo chamber, Rudy Giuliani and his supporters should specify how he rescued America’s largest left-wing city through Reaganite social and economic reforms.

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

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