Thursday, February 22, 2007

Remind people who Giuliani really is

Before he gets to define himself buffed and glorious in red, white, and blue. Remind people of the truth, what happened while he was in charge of New York City. No More Mister Nice Blog warns us:
Giuliani tops Clinton 55 - 38 percent in Red states, which voted Republican in the 2004 presidential election, and ties her 46 - 46 percent in Blue states, which went Democratic in 2004. He gets 44 percent to Clinton's 45 percent in Purple states, where the margin in 2004 was less than 7 percent....

I'm going to keep saying it: Democrats have to define Giuliani now -- as scary, as Bush Redux, as something. McCain, too, though I see his star fading. Maureen Dowd is defining Barack Obama and (re-)defining Hillary Clinton before they can define themselves; Fox, by sponsoring an early Democratic debate, has the franchise to do the same for the rest of the Democratic field. Who's going to define John and (especially) Rudy? Or are we just going to let them define themselves?

"Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do". -- NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 1994

ELLIS HENICAN: He didn't like us. I mean, let's just start with that. He didn't like to be criticized. He took it all very personally. He was quick to anger, and he lashed out very quickly, all of which made things fun for the media who had to cover him.

BOB GARFIELD: Lashed out how?

ELLIS HENICAN: Well, he would complain. He would heckle you. He would question the intellectual honesty of your questions. In fact, the Room Nine press conferences in his era, the most frequent beginning of a sentence was, if you were going to be intellectually honest about that question, you would, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Yeah. It was a combative relationship. But in that combat, I think you learned a lot about who the guy was. He was someone who was very headstrong, who was not too big on nuance, who was smart and was a good arguer. And he might not be right, but he was never uncertain.

BOB GARFIELD: I'm just curious - most of America knows Rudy Giuliani as the sainted hero of 9/11. But the New York press, you know, had a very different take on him, at least through September 10th, 2001. What was the book on Giuliani?

ELLIS HENICAN: In the early years, I think people appreciated the fact that he brought a sense of civic order to the city and he rode that a while. But when he went to bed on September the 10th, 2001, he was just another tired mayor with a bad marriage. He had run out his string of charm in New York, and he had succeeded in his years in office in alienating, one by one, an awful lot of the constituencies that add up to this place called New York.

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More on his scandals here.

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