Monday, December 10, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: a review.

I'll post some commentary later, but for now here are some articles. Taken as a whole, they're a sad reflection of the staggering extent of Mr. Giuliani's quite unsavory past. They also give the best insight into what a Giuliani presidency would look like (hopefully no more of this or this).


Rudy Awakening, by Rachel Morris, The Washington Monthly, Nov. 2007:
As was also the case with the White House, the events of 9/11 solidified the mindset underlying his worst tendencies. Embedded in his operating style is a belief that rules don't apply to him, and a ruthless gift for exploiting the intrinsic weaknesses in the system of checks and balances. That's why, of all the presidential candidates, Giuliani is most likely to take the expansions of the executive branch made by the Bush administration and push them further still.

Rudy the Rude, by David Freddoso, National Review Online, Feb. 14, 2007:
If Giuliani’s stances on babies, guns, and gay marriage do not sink him in the Republican primaries, he will probably suffer in a general election campaign from the fact that there is so much evidence in the public record that he is a total jerk...

It understates the case to say that a massive terror attack saved Giuliani’s political career — it would be more accurate to say that nothing short of 9/11 could have saved it.

A Tale of Two Giulianis: Politics and Power, by Michael Shnayerson, Vanity Fair, Jan. 2008:
On the back of 9/11, Rudy Giuliani refashioned himself as a national hero, a top presidential candidate—and, through his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, became a very wealthy man. But the questionable backgrounds of some of the firm’s clients make one wonder what Rudy wouldn’t do to make a buck. As Giuliani’s former crony Bernard Kerik faces trial, the author uncovers troubling signs of greed, poor judgment, and conflict of interest.

Funny Man: Rudy Giuliani hides his rage behind ridicule, by Michael Crowley, The New Republic, Dec. 10, 2007:
For months, Giuliani has coasted above the campaign fray on the strength of his 9/11 celebrity. But, in New Hampshire this past weekend, things took a sharply rougher turn, as Giuliani and Romney bashed one another repeatedly over their respective governing records. The general election promises to be even more brutal, if recent history is a guide. Can Giuliani really suppress his inner bully? Already, one can glimpse flashes of a darker side, as when Giuliani accuses Democrats of "defeatism," "pessimism," and emulating "foreign principles."

Mayberry Man, by Peter J. Boyer, The New Yorker, Aug. 20, 2007:
When Giuliani’s tenure as mayor ended, in 2002, he left behind a city that was grateful, and more than a little relieved to see him go. He had achieved much of his program of radical reform, and he performed well on September 11th, but it had felt like an eight-year fistfight. Giuliani had fought with teachers and with Yasir Arafat, with the Brooklyn Museum and with Fidel Castro, with squeegee men, tennis fans, street venders, taxi-drivers, his own police chief, and, of course, his wife. He had repeatedly chastised New Yorkers for their incorrigible jaywalking and careless bicycling. . . Many Manhattanites felt that when the rest of the country experienced the Rudy Giuliani they knew—the flashes of pique, the slashing remark—the celebrity glow would quickly fade.

A fate worse than Bush: Rudy Giuliani and the Politics of Personality, Harper's (subscription), by Kevin Baker, Aug. 2007:
Rudolph Giuliani has, by far, the most dubious known personal history of any major presidential candidate in American history, what with his three marriages and his open affairs and his almost total estrangement from his grown children, not to mention the startling frequency with which he finds excuses to dress in women's clothing.

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