Tuesday, February 06, 2007

OK -- I'm not the biggest Hillary Clinton fan on the planet, but I don't ever want to hear again that the launch of her campaign was "inauthentic" or too "scripted" -- not after seeing what Rudy Giuliani's campaign and the New York Post cooked up together to commemorate his announcement that he's running for president:

Somebody in his campaign has clearly come to the conclusion that he needs to broaden his appeal by reaching out to the Oprah voting bloc. Someone also thinks that the way to beat Hillary (and deflect social conservatives' questions about his marital history and support for some gay rights) is to show him in a passionate marital clinch. And so the Post -- which is still regarded in many circles as a newspaper rather than an instrument of propaganda -- happily obliges, by putting this on the front page.

And there's another twist. Check out the cover story's opening paragraph:

Sexy Judi Giuliani is keeping a tight lip-lock on her hubby as he moved even closer yesterday to officially announcing his presidential bid.

Now, stop right there. What's wrong with this sentence? I have to give credit where credit is due and note that National Review's much-mocked Kathryn Jean Lopez, of all people, spotted what's odd here (though the ramifications seem to have escaped her):

Judi Who?   
This is not of any great import, and may be me only paying attention to the gossip sections of the local news, but it took me a few seconds to make an identification when I heard "Judi Guiliani" the other day. I swear I had never heard it before -- she'll always be Judith Nathan in the
New York Post to me.

K-Lo's right -- she's always been called Judi (or Judith) Nathan. Until, apparently, now. Which means she's done one of the very things that gets Hillary Clinton labeled a phony -- she's switched to the use of her husband's surname just as he's launching a big campaign.

Oh, but I'm sure Judi'll be called a phony for that, too.

Ha ha, just kidding.

More from the Post:

Judi, 52, insisted that when her hubby takes the plunge, she won't mind playing second fiddle to his political ambitions

Gosh, what could that be in reference to?

-- and she revealed the famously tough-as-nails former mayor's sensitive side.

"I've always liked strong, macho men, and Rudy -- I'm not saying this because he's my husband -- is one of the smartest people on the planet," gushed the former Judith Nathan to Harper's Bazaar in editions due out Feb. 20.

"What people don't know is that Rudy's a very, very romantic guy. We love watching 'Sleepless in Seattle.' Can you imagine my big testosterone-factor husband doing that?"

Right-wingers love idealizing their manly Republican heroes as husbands and fathers. I think, to them, it's sexy without being dirty, in a Harlequin way. They loved the marriage of Ronnie and Nancy (warning: cheesy music at startup); Laura won't kiss George for the camera as readily as Nancy and Ronnie kissed, so instead we get picture after picture after picture after picture after picture of Bush holding babies.

Describing Rudy, a former federal prosecutor, as "the Energizer Bunny with no rechargeable batteries," Judi said, "One of the most remarkable things about my husband, who sleeps three or four hours a night, is his energy level and stamina....

Democrats are freaks; Republicans are superheroes!

"When Rudy had prostate cancer in 2000, I knew he'd come through, maybe because we believed he would," said his wife, a registered nurse....

She said she always thinks about that brush with death and 9/11, when her husband was "spared only by the grace of God" from the World Trade Center's collapsing south tower....

Good Lord -- enough.

Somewhere in Hell, Leni Riefenstahl and Joseph Goebbels have already sent congratulatory telegrams for this first-rate piece of work.


In comments, Greg T. notes that Glenn Greenwald and Digby have come around to the notion that Rudy can really win the GOP nomination. Glad they've noticed.

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