Friday, January 23, 2004

As we belabor the subject of "temperament" and a certain candidate's marriage, let's not forget that four years from now many of the people who are criticizing or questioning Howard Dean (and Judy Dean) will be calling for a Giuliani presidency.

You remember Rudy Giuliani -- a guy who was really angry much of the time (no, not in the aftermath of 9/11, but virtually every day prior to that in his eight years as mayor). Giuliani as mayor was snappish, punitive, and vindictive. Giuliani also once went ballistic before a crowd in the midst of a campaign, in 1992 -- but he didn't merely rally the faithful with an overabundance of enthusiasm. What he did was unleash a profanity-laden denunciation of then-mayor David Dinkins before a crowd of cops objecting to a proposed mayoral commission on police corruption. The cops subsequently rioted. (See Wayne Barrett's Rudy!, pp. 259ff.)

Oh, and Giuliani's wife also famously absented herself from many events she was expected to attend with him -- she too said it was because she had a career separate from her husband's. Her absence was the subject of occasional snickers on the inside pages of the papers, but that was that ... until it became clear that, unlike the Deans, the Giulianis hated each other's guts and were headed for the sort of ugly divorce you'd try to avoid if you were a grown-up.

But none of this will matter in '08. Rudy doesn't stand a chance to get the GOP nomination -- he's pro-choice and pro-gay rights, although I suppose his positions on these issues could "evolve" -- but he's loved in the media. And among the people who'll gush over Rudy most audibly will be Diane Sawyer and David Letterman, who took Dean to the woodshed last night on national TV.

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