Monday, February 4, 2008

Week of 02/04/2008

Giuliani: Winning By Shooting One’s Own Foot
– by David Matthews 2

Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani.

Former Mayor of New York City!

“America’s Mayor”!

“The SAINT of 9/11”!

The “Savior” of New York!


That last part was obviously not flattering to Giuliani, but of all of the above listed statements, “Loser” is not only the most TRUTHFUL of descriptions, but is the only one that REALLY describes his most recent attempt at running for any government job higher than his last one.

There are two things that Giuliani likes to do. The first a good fight. Like any other Italian thug, Giuliani loves a good fight, especially if it’s one that he doesn’t really have to duke it out to win.

As the NYC Mayor, Giuliani fought with the power of GOVERNMENT on his side, so he really won every fight. The New York Times recently brought up the 1997 case of James Schillaci, a Bronx chauffeur who criticized the mayor’s red-light sting operations. Giuliani, in a move reminiscent of the Soviet Union, had the chauffeur arrested on a 13-year old traffic warrant, and then when the judge dismissed the case, his mouthpieces publicly listed Schillaci’s police record, some of which may have even been disclosed in violation of state law, and then falsely accused the man of being convicted of sodomy. Giuliani then went before the public and wiped his hands clean and pompously said that if Schillaci lied about his good word, then maybe he lied about the red-light sting.

When former mayors criticized Giuliani, he ordered their portraits taken down from City Hall. Anyone who questioned his politics was investigated. Anyone who brought out flaws in his fictionally “flawless” administration was fired.

He actually made both the Bush Imperium and the Clinton Regime look downright clownish in comparison, and that is no small feat!

The other thing that Giuliani likes to do - and he does it so well - is self-promotion. He loves to boast about how GREAT he is and all of the WONDERFUL things that he did.

Remember the moniker “America’s Mayor”? Who do you really think came up with that one? Giuliani is no more “America’s Mayor” than Michael Jackson is really “The King of Pop”.

Of course, self-promotion is something of a necessity when you like to get in a good fight. This was something that famed mob boss Al Capone learned rather quickly. If you’re going to bloody people up – or GET people bloodied up – then you had better present the illusion that you’re above all of it. Either that or get a REALLY good attorney who would have to tirelessly work to keep you from going to prison.

So Giuliani marketed himself. He promoted himself to be something more than what he really was. He was touting himself as the one who brought “life” to Times Square, when, in fact, the whole idea to give Times Square away to big corporations was cobbled together by his predecessors. All he had to do was to make sure that they finished the job. Even as allegations of abuse of police powers were going up, Giuliani marketed himself as being “tough on crime”.

And he tried to use that marketed “family values and tough on crime” image to run for the U.S. Senate in 2000. The Senate seat was open, and the “chosen candidate” for the Democrats was a certain carpet-bagging First Lady named Hillary Rodham-Clinton.

The campaign was hyped as an epic battle between the two political egos! Both egos had ulterior motives for the job… they both knew that the Senate seat would essentially be nothing more than a stepping stone for a future White House run.

But then it came out that Giuliani had some issues. Mister “Family Values” was fooling around with a mistress and seeking a divorce from his most recent wife. (Yes, like most typical Republicans, he has been married before.)

Ooops! That’s not good! You can’t have a “Family Values” and “Tough on Crime” mayor having an affair! That’s IMMORAL! It’s HYPOCRITICAL! Not to mention that in the state of New York, IT IS ILLEGAL! Look it up if you don’t believe me.

As fate would have it, Giuliani had to pull out of the race just weeks before the election because of prostate cancer. His own health pretty much spared him the indignity of having to LOSE that election to a carpet-bagging First Lady.

And then… 9/11! And Giuliani was handed the PERFECT opportunity to redeem himself and promote himself even further as… AMERICA’S MAYOR! Giuliani instantly became the “man of the hour”. Why? Because he did something that nobody apparently ever thought he could do on that day… the Mayor of New York City actually DID HIS JOB!

Astonishing! Give the man a medal!

Actually the spin was that Giuliani shouldn’t even HAVE to step down as mayor. The spin was that he should have remained in office for an unprecedented (and illegal) third term. Oh, wait a minute… that whole “rule of law” thing sorta-kinda gets in the way of that idea, doesn’t it?

Seriously, though… THAT is the great secret behind his legendary status. He did his job as Mayor of New York City during a catastrophic time. That’s all.

But since promotion is all about HYPE and style instead of substance, if he was there and in the cameras, then it could be promoted that he was some legendary figure… the North American version of Moses, leading the wounded from the bondage of debris. He could promote himself as the EXPERT of 9/11 and an EXPERT on terrorism. Why? Because he did his job as mayor during that time, THAT’S WHY!

And that is what he did after his tenure as mayor ended. He promoted himself some more. He went on speaking tours and sold his book. He even got an honorary knighthood from England’s Queen Elizabeth!

And when that same carpet-bagging First Lady-turned-Senator turned her eyes back towards the White House, it became the PERFECT opportunity for Giuliani to have that rematch! He had the hype. He had the support of his friends in Fox News, which gave him more coverage than any other candidate. And he was seen as a moderate compared to the conservative leanings of many of the other candidates, which made him a favorable candidate for the general election in November.

It was a no-brainer! Who else could take on “The Hill” and win? This was it! This was the EPIC BATTLE that pundits and newspaper editors were looking for! It would be a New York battle for control of the White House! That’s it! There’s no need for primaries or caucuses! Just make it “Hilly Vs. Rudy” and let’s just see which one wins! Ring the bell! Let’s get it on already!

So why is it that Rudy Giuliani had to pull out of this race as well?

Let’s see… the cancer thing got licked a while back… he’s still married to his latest wife, and he hasn’t found any new mistresses…or at least none that have shown up in the media of late. Two of his kids aren’t happy with him, but, then again, they’re kids, so who cares what they like anyway?

He’s got the 9/11 thing working for him… except that people are sick and tired of the fearmongering. Bah! Who cares what people are sick and tired of, right? And there WAS that little thing about him dropping out of the 9/11 advisory committee so he could go on tour to promote himself as “America’s Mayor”. But that was some dumb advisory committee anyway, right?

He’s STILL Mister “Law and Order”, right? Oh, wait, that’s Fred Thompson’s title. Or is that his TV title? Anyway, he’s STILL the “tough on crime” guy! Well… except for the thing involving his good friend and former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. You remember him, right? Kerik was supposed to be the first Homeland Security Secretary… until he had to admit to having a “nanny problem”. Plus it came out that Kerik had a little “thing” on the side with author and publisher Judith Regan, and that they used an apartment building at Ground Zero reserved for rescue workers as their little “love nest”. Kerik has since been indicted and charged with numerous federal counts of tax fraud. Did I mention that Kerik was also knighted by the Queen? Oh, well, who cares about that little thing anyway?

Then there is that WINNING campaign strategy of his! Oh, you’ll love this! This come right out of the “island hopping” tactics of World War II. Instead of focusing all of his time, energy, and effort to win the EARLY races – Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, etc. – he would simply put all of his weight behind the key strategic states with the most delegates. He would put all of his political eggs in the baskets of states like Florida, New York, Texas, and California. States that would give him the BULK of the delegates that he would need to secure the nomination. Brilliant!

The downside to this strategy is that he would have to WIN in each and every one of those states and walk away with ALL of those delegates. But, hey, we’re talking about AMERICA’S MAYOR here! Mister NINE-freaking-ELEVEN! The SAVIOR of New York City! Piece of cake!

That is… until he finished in a distant THIRD in the Florida primary.

But… at least he still has New York behind him, right?

Well it didn’t help that the New York Times (not exactly a neutral publication anyway) endorsed John McCain and began running all of these articles showing the REAL Rudy Giuliani instead of the self-promoted version. It also didn’t help that people were cranking out polls saying that they would rather vote for the current mayor, Michael Bloomberg, over Giuliani, even if Bloomberg ran as an independent candidate. Polls may be nothing more than media fodder compared to actual elections, but political consultants swear by them, so that was another puncture in the campaign balloon.

Let’s get brutally honest here… the word “Loser” is an appropriate description of Giuliani’s collapsing presidential bid. Once again, he metaphorically shot himself in the foot, but this time around he did so repeatedly.

Giuliani thought that he could turn his self-promotion into a winning White House strategy. He failed to take into account that he would have to put some substance behind all of that hype, not to mention deal with the fact that he didn’t really address his past failings and capitalized instead on the fear of terrorism.

Rudy Giuliani had only one single verifiable thing on his side: he was there at 9/11 doing his job. And in the end, that is all that he really had to offer, and that was all people saw him as. Rudy Giuliani is Mister 9/11.

Unfortunately for Giuliani, the job that he was running for demanded a lot more than just invoking “9/11”. That may work for our current delusional neo-Roman resident of the White House whose tenure is being measured by a countdown, but it doesn’t really work for those who are looking to replace him.

On the plus side, though, Giuliani is free to try again in 2012 or 2016. And his support and endorsement of McCain could very well secure him either a place as a running mate or a future cabinet position should the Ohio Senator win both the party nomination and the November elections. And if not? Well it’s back to that law firm of his, and his speaking tours, and his appearances on Fox News. And maybe between now and the next presidential election season he can come up with something substantive than just where he was on a certain day in September of 2001.

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