Wednesday night, I attended a fundraiser for Mayor Rudy Giuliani in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton hotel. Held in one of the smaller ballrooms, about 500 packed into a dimly lit room to help celebrate the Mayor’s birthday in a style fitting a politician – holding a fundraiser.
Many of my political friends were there (note that as volunteers, activists and consultants), and while there obviously a good amount of mid-tier donors there, it was quite entertaining to see the quantity of faces in the room that I had seen at events held for Senator McCain and Governor Romney as well.
There was quite an interesting lineup of speakers…most notably “John & Ken”, a radio-talk-show duo whose “claim to fame” was literally bringing Congressman David Dreier down to his knees (no pun intended…) over accusations of being soft on illegal immigration. Following the comedic tallents of those two, none other than conservative show host and entertainer Dennis Miller himself went on a 10 minute politically incorrect tirade/laugh-a-thon going after Arabs and environmentalists.
It was a fateful twist, however to hear the speech given by Mayor Giuliani. Now having heard him give four or five speeches that pretty much were a slight derivation of each other, I was shocked to hear the Mayor move in a new, much more bold direction.
He called Islamo-facism out for what it is…a deranged set of lunatics hell-bent on the destruction of Western culture…and any culture that opposes it. That discussion topic let him to discuss leadership as the Mayor of a big city…taking the steps needed to increase security and accountability across the board. Giuliani discussed the role that America must play in the war against terror, asserting that if the Democrats had it their way, America would be playing a passive role, and losing more ground every day in this struggle.
He then took the speech into the area of health care reform, principally discussing the creation of heath care funds for individuals to make their own decisions for their standard of care within the means of their own priorities and budgets. Giuliani contrasted his stance against what he called the “total socialization of medicine” under Hillary Clinton, and the “almost total socialization of medicine” under Barak Obama. The Mayor proposed giving MASSIVE tax breaks to those who purchase private insurance for themselves and families.
As a fundraiser myself, I usually “zone out” during the speeches given by my clients/candidates, but I listed to this one. I’m glad to see the Mayor come out strongly against Islamo-facism and defend the role of America in a hostile world environment.
All in all, it was a decent event. I thought the “warm up” comidians undercut the seriousness of the Mayor’s speech, but I wasn’t giving it all that much credability in the begining. This might be the sign for a new, more focused Giuliani, but who knows. The fact that this is the first we’re hearing him speak specifically on policy issues such as the role of America international relations and domestic health policy makes me wonder if he’s really thought that much about all of this. Hopefully we’ll start to see more specifics.