By Martin Bosworth
“The Universe hates me you know. I don’t know why; I’ve never done anything to the Universe to… Well, alright. A few things, but after a while you’d think it would be enough. ‘Yes, we’ve had our fun with Londo Mollari for now. Perhaps it is time to move on and find someone else to play with.'” — Londo Mollari, Babylon 5
Hey, wasn’t someone else dropping out of the 2008 campaign again? Who was it? Fred Thompson?
Oh, yeah, right–this guy:
Giuliani’s unconventional strategy of largely bypassing the early voting states and focusing on more populous, delegate-rich states produced just one delegate, a bunch of sixth-place finishes and made him the odd man out. His best showing was, where he had staked his candidacy. He finished a distant third. It was a remarkable defeat for the ex-mayor who entered the race more than a year ago with an aura of invincibility, leading national polls and earning a reputation for toughness after his stewardship of as terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001.
Of course, anyone who actually paid any real attention to Giuliani beyond his near-constant references to 9/11 found that just as he overembellished and fabricated much of his role in dealing with that terrible day, once you got past that, there wasn’t really much of anything to Giuliani’s campaign–or the man in general.
One of the few times Giuliani ventured into any discussion of domestic policy was on his health care plan, which pretty much sucked. Once that tanked, it was right back to “a noun, a verb, and 9/11,” all the way. Rudy has invoked the specter of that day nearly as much as Hillary Clinton touts her fabled experience, pushing that as his key selling point–“I WILL PROTECT YOU FROM EVIL TERRORISTS AND BROWN PEOPLE,” essentially.
Never mind that he spent taxpayer dollars on his mistress and didn’t even try to deny it or show any accountability for it. Never mind that his foreign policy advisers, experts, and role models, are basically neocon lunatics of the first order. Never mind that his constant self-aggrandizement, disdain for the average American, insanely hawkish foreign policy stances, and embrace of authoritarianism made him everything we hate about Bush, and worse. Never mind any one of the million little scandals that tarnished and dogged his campaign from Day One. No, as long as he could pound the pulpit and invoke 9/11 as his holy sword and shield, he’d be fine.
Except he wasn’t. He flopped in every primary contest, in some cases placing well behind Ron Paul, the supposed “fringe candidate.” Was it the accumulated effect of all the scandals and dirt encrusting his sweaty bald pate? Was it the disgust at his cynical embrace of a horrible day as his primary campaign plank? Or was it simply voters realizing that this egotistical blowhard just was not the right guy to lead the country?
We may never know. And it doesn’t matter. Giuliani, like Fred Thompson, was anointed the undefeatable Goliath of the GOP campaign, waving his “ownership of 9/11” like a billy club, yet using his supposed “moderate” credibility to peel away independent and undecided voters. But at his core, Rudy is about nothing but himself. Not 9/11, not America, not his harridan of a wife, or anything else, but Rudy himself. And after eight years of a president who has taken obtuse self-involvement to levels unimaginable in our cultural consciousness, I think the American public just wasn’t having any more of that on their plate.
So Rudy will go back to his million-dollar speeches and jet-setting lifestyle, demanding that we bomb Iran and Iraq into black glass, and that’s fine. Because he won’t be able to do anything about it but speechify, bleat, rant–oh, and endorse the one guy left in the campaign who’s even remotely as hawkish as he is, but is somewhat less of a self-involved dickhead.
So, see ya, Ghouliani. Hopefully not any time soon, though. Good riddance to Rudy rubbish.