Thursday, July 13, 2006

Interesting, but probably not enough to do much harm:

A long-awaited re-appraisal of New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's much-hailed actions surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be published in September to mark the fifth anniversary of the tragedy. It's called "The Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11," written by Wayne Barrett, the longtime Village Voice writer and author of a biography of the former mayor, and Dan Collins, a senior producer for

... The heads of various crisis-management-and-response units were political appointees, most in way above their heads. Giuliani and his subordinates were never able to coordinate communications among various fire, police, dispatch, public-health and other agencies; had they been successful, there's a good chance, the authors maintain, that the civilians who were told to stay in place inside the burning towers would have been evacuated, as the fire chiefs had ordered....

... the Giuliani City Hall seems to have been no stranger to sweetheart deals and patronage, so that the employee in charge of emergency broadband communications had a sister who worked as a lobbyist for the phone provider who just happened to win the lucrative contract. That employee later committed suicide....

And so on.

Yes, this is attacking Giuliani on his strength -- the Rove strategy. But it's not Rovian enough. The Rovian approach would be to get firefighters and cops, as well as survivors of the deceased, to go after Giuliani on this issue -- 9/11 Veterans for Truth, so to speak. (If it were in the service of a candidate to Rudy's right, don't worry -- Ann Coulter wouldn't say a word in protest.) But if this ever happens, it won't be the work of Rove -- Karl finds Rudy quite useful to the party, and reportedly wants him on the '08 ticket.

By the way, when I see positive words about a possible Giuliani candidacy at the Alan Keyes site,, which usually features tirades against cafeteria-Catholic pols, I'm more and more convinced that the right is going to bend its rules for Rudy. Yeah, there's that pesky social liberalism, but Rudy has just the kind of personality right-wingers love -- jolly, pious, and an authoritarian thug in exactly the right mix. He's Bush as a grown-up -- except that he seems to hate his enemies even more than Bush does. To the right, I think that's intoxicating.

(Via Atrios.)

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