Rudy is the absolute definition of an Executive. He doesn't work and play well with others. He needs to be in charge. When you're considering who should be president, that's a good thing. I would never have voted for him when he was running against Hillary for the NY Senate seat, because that position calls for the ability to work and play well with others. President? I'd think about it.
During his eight years as Mayor of NYC, I didn't like a lot of the things he was doing. But he was always completely up front about what he wanted to do. He didn't give a shit about polls. He came right out and said, "This is what I'm going to do and you can elect someone else next time if you don't like it." During his first term, he usually got what he wanted. During his second term...not so much.
Bu here's the thing. I found that no matter how much I disliked the guy, I was forced to respect him. I thought it was very refreshing to have a politician who said, "I managed to get elected because I have a specific agenda, and I'll be damned if I'm going to drop that agenda just because some of you are getting squishy about it". He got things done and told everyone to "piss off" if they didn't like it.
Once again, I didn't like a lot of the things he was doing, but I respected the fact that he said what he'd do and he did what he said.
Then, 9/11 happened. I can't overstate how impressed I was with his post-9/11 behavior. He didn't have a script but he said the right thing every damned time. He didn't sugar-coat anything but he didn't resort to any kind of rhetoric. George Bush stammered and waved his fists and Rudy Giuliani comforted, consoled and reassured us.
I'll never criticize the way he handled the aftermath of 9/11. But,
Rudy fought the FDNY tooth and nail over budget for years preceding 9/11. There's a valid case to be made that he's a big part of the reason the Fire Department's radios didn't work in the twin towers. I don't think any reasonable person can say he could have done anything to prevent 9/11, but he certainly could have done something to make its consequences less dire. The twin towers could have had some catastrophe completely unrelated to terrorism and the results would have been horrific because Rudy refused to spend money on predictable problems.
Do I think he should have predicted terrorists flying planes into buildings? No, not really. Do I think he should have understood that in a city full of high-rise buildings, there might be an emergency that would require the ability for first responders to be able to communicate with each other? You betcha!
I can live with his brief (one day) exploration of delaying the election of a new mayor. (9/11 was primary day here.) We were all unsure and all had the thought that maybe we should continue with the officials we had. We all had the thought that we didn't want to let terrorists have any influence on an election. He backtracked the next day and he was right to do it.
But this is the guy who, as Joe Biden puts it, is:
"the most under-qualified man since George W. Bush to seek the presidency.""There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, and a verb and 9/11," Biden said.
Its important that a President be capable of reacting to a national emergency, but so much more important that a President prepare for it. Rudy's not that guy. In the one area that he could have made a difference beforehand he shows up lacking. He's running on a record of his clear failure.
And don't even get me started on the fact that he announced his separation from Donna Hanover in a press conference without bothering to tell her first.