I haven't yet seen anyone connect the dots between Rudy's credibility and substantive actions or strategies. Like the Giuliani supporters quoted before, everyone feels he's strong and capable, but they don't quite know why.
From the NYT:
“Giuliani may be in the best position of any of the Republican primary candidates on this because he uses very strong language in support of the war and its goals, but he doesn’t have to take simple up-or-down votes, like McCain does,” said Dan Schnur, a Republican political consultant who worked for Mr. McCain in 2000 but said he expected to sit out 2008. “He can voice the same ambivalence the voters feel.”So he uses strong language, believes the war will go on for generations and essentially guarantees that we'll suffer another attack. Is that reassuring?
Polls suggest that Mr. Giuliani, far more than Mr. Romney, has credibility on terrorism and national security questions, and he and his aides see it as a central part of his appeal. When he speaks of possible setbacks in Iraq and a long fight against terrorists, analysts say, Mr. Giuliani enhances that image, sounding tough but realistic.
“I think it’s an effective pitch,” said Charles R. Black Jr., a Republican consultant who is not involved in the 2008 campaign. “The idea that the war on terror will go on for a generation plays to his strength.”
In the past, Mr. Giuliani has often injected notes of pessimism into his comments on security, or warned of a protracted struggle. Campaigning for Republicans around the country last year, he often said that it was inevitable that the United States would be attacked again, and that the nation had no choice but to be at war with terrorists for many years.
Ironically, Giuliani’s stock as a presidential contender is widely expected to rise if the U.S. is attacked again by terrorists.
“If we are still at war, and we get hit again, I think that changes the dynamics,” says Michael Long, chairman of the Conservative Party of New York State. “He is seen as a strong leader.”