By Martin Bosworth
So let’s say you’re Rudy Giuliani–darling of the media for turning New York City into Disney World, fawned over as the Saint of 9/11 and a “national security authority” simply for being mayor of a city that was hit by a terrorist attack, and considered socially liberal enough to sap the Democratic advantage even though your political positions put you to the right of George freakin’ Bush.
What are the three worst things that could happen to sabotage your seemingly anointed ascension to the GOP nomination?
- Word could get out that your campaign director in South Carolina was federally indicted for selling cocaine. No, that’s not a typo–this isn’t some garden-variety GOP fraud like robocalls or bribery. Ravenel apparently was selling the crack rock.
- It could then be publicized that you got kicked out of the high-profile Iraq Study Group for failing to show up to meetings–and that said failures had to do with the ISG meetings conflicting with your high-priced speaking engagements.
- Your successor, Mike Bloomberg, a self-described “Short liberal Jewish billionaire,” could switch his party affiliation from GOP to “independent,” fueling talk of a third-party run or even a switch back to the Dems, thus turning any presidential contest between you and him into a “Subway series”–and a referendum on how things REALLY went in New York when you were in charge.
It amazes me that people think Giuliani is capable of being president. I knew a smart woman blogger–very intelligent and erudite–who was absolutely convinced Giuliani was the guy in ’08, because he cut down crime in New York City and demonstrated authority on 9/11. That was it. I’ve also argued with otherwise intelligent, well-informed friends who think Rudy’s okay because he’s pro-choice, soft on gay rights, and dressed in drag. People are so willing to buy into the idea–the illusion–of a tough authority figure that they’ve willfully blinded themselves to the reality that Giuliani is all about extending his own personal power. Even more than Bush, who is driven by insecurities and messianic complexes, Rudy is all about Rudy–first and foremost.
The late Steve Gilliard had Rudy nailed on any number of issues, not least being his utter disdain for civil rights and hypocrisies in his personal life. Let’s hope these latest scandals and setbacks remind people that you can put lipstick on a pig, but that doesn’t mean it’s something worth kissing.
UPDATE: The folks at Blah3 wrote in to correct me on one point–Ravenel was arrested for intent to distribute powdered cocaine, not crack. While it may seem like a small difference, it IS significant, and one which should not be overlooked. Thanks, guys. 😉