And I don’t mean in two years. God it’s getting painful out there. The only remotely interesting thing I’ve seen today are a story about Peru setting off police sirens to try to get people punctual at last and a Japanese beauty queen getting married in Heian court dress. So we’re turnin’ to Rudy:

Opinion Journal – Giuliani the Conservative<br/> And he’s electable too. BY STEVEN MALANGA (a contributing editor of City Journal, in whose Winter issue this article appears)

Not since Teddy Roosevelt took on Tammany Hall a century ago has a New York politician closely linked to urban reform looked like presidential timber. But today Rudy Giuliani sits at or near the top of virtually every poll of potential 2008 presidential candidates. Already, Mr. Giuliani’s popularity has set off a “stop Rudy” movement among cultural conservatives, who object to his three marriages and his support for abortion rights, gay unions and curbs on gun ownership. Some social conservatives even dismiss his achievement in reviving New York before 9/11. An August story on the Web site Right Wing News, for instance, claims that Mr. Giuliani governed Gotham from “left of center.” Similarly, conservatives have been feeding the press a misleading collection of quotations by and about Mr. Giuliani, on tax policy and school choice issues, assembled to make him look like a liberal.

But in a GOP presidential field in which cultural and religious conservatives may find something to object to in every candidate who could really get nominated (and, more important, elected), Mr. Giuliani may be the most conservative candidate on a wide range of issues. Far from being a liberal, he ran New York with a conservative’s priorities. Government exists above all to keep people safe in their homes and in the streets, he said, not to redistribute income, run a welfare state, or perform social engineering. The private economy, not government, creates opportunity, he argued; government should just deliver basic services well and then get out of the private sector’s way. He denied that cities and their citizens were victims of vast forces outside their control, and he urged New Yorkers to take personal responsibility for their lives.

“Over the last century, millions of people from all over the world have come to New York City,” Mr. Giuliani once observed. “They didn’t come here to be taken care of and to be dependent on city government. They came here for the freedom to take care of themselves.” It was that spirit of opportunity and can-do-ism that Mr. Giuliani tried to reinstill in New York and that he himself exemplified not only in the hours and weeks after 9/11 but in his heroic and successful effort to bring a dying city back to life.

ninme waves her pompoms

It’s a bit long (okay it’s really long), but it’s reassuring.