People and Politics by Patrick Roberts
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly should run for president - '60 Minutes' profile paints a picture of leadership Americans yearn for
Posted on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 08:51 PM
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NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly for president?
After watching the '60 Minutes' profile which captured the incredible career and life of Kelly last night the thought did come to mind.
America is crying out for a real leader and Kelly certainly has that ability.
Could he do any worse than Obama or Romney or Perry?
The Irish American cop with Roscommon roots came across as a Clint Eastwood character with brains and wit and as a genuine modest hero.
The Manhattan-born son of an Irish milkman, and a graduate of St. John's University, Kelly rose through the ranks of the NYPD for 31 years, served in Vietnam as a Marine and also ran the US Customs service for a time.
He has kept New York safe by ramping up counter terrorism measures to an incredible pitch since he took over four months after 9/11.
New York has a bulls eye on its back. The financial and media center of the world, it has been hit twice by terrorists and is constantly on their radar.
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As '60 Minutes' made clear Kelly is the main man standing between Al Qaeda, their affiliates and more mayhem and murder in New York and perhaps America.
As '60 Minutes' also detailed, Kelly has kept America's largest city safe since 9/11 by foresight, planning and minute attention to detail.
It has not been a matter of luck but Kelly modestly accepts that luck does play its part, as in the botched bombing in Times Square.
'60 Minutes' Scott Pelley made clear Ray Kelly has simply created the greatest counter terrorism police unit in the world.
NYPD operatives fan out all over the world, pay attention to conflicts with ethnic groups who live in New York and create extraordinary contingency plans for attempted strikes.
There is incredible pressure.
Kelly went straight from fending off threatened Al Qaeda strikes on the anniversary of 9/11 to hosting 137 world leaders for the annual UN General assembly summit this week.
He handles it all with cool aplomb. secure in the knowledge that the 50,000 men and women he commands are the most professional in the world at what they do.
That point certainly came across on '60 Minutes'
One example given was the radiation detection devices that police boats carry as they pass the huge container ships that annually come into new York harbor.
They are so sensitive that they are set off by people in passing boats who have had cancer treatment lately.
The incredible phalanx of cameras that monitor public areas was also revealed.
If the police are looking for someone suspicious with a red sweater the cameras can instantly dissect and find such people wherever they are.
Kelly's attention to detail is enormous. There is now an NYPD cricket team because many new emigrants and possible terrorist links to New York come from countries such as Pakistan in South East Asia where cricket is the sport of choice
The overall impression given was of a professional at the very top of his game.
Kelly has been talked about as a future mayor of New York.
A better idea might be president.
An independent run from Kelly could surely shake up the race in a profound manner.
HIs boss Michael Bloomberg has had ambitions for the highest national office in the past.
He could do worse than anoint Kelly and put his money behind him for an independent race.
And indeed, in a country short of heroes and truly competent leaders, Kelly might just win.
Now there's a thought.
Clip from the '60 Minutes' show:
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