Sunday, November 11, 2007


Just try to imagine: If Rudy Giuliani becomes president, this guy's going to have an office in the West Wing:

...An affable back-slapper with short salt-and-pepper hair, full cheeks, small gold-framed glasses and a big gray suit, the 38-year-old [Tony] Carbonetti's entire political experience comes at the service of Mr. Giuliani, a longtime family friend.

Over the past couple of years, he's made the abrupt career leap from local political fixer to architect of a front-running presidential campaign.

... his credentials as a would-be presidential kingmaker are unusual.

...In 1992, with Mr. Giuliani about to make [a] run for mayor, Mr. Carbonetti contacted Peter Powers, then Mr. Giuliani's chief adviser, to offer his services. A few weeks later Mr. Carbonetti was made a deputy director of field operations.

... Mr. Giuliani won, and Mr. Carbonetti, a 24-year-old registered Democrat who reporters joked had only the qualification "mixologist" to put on his resume, became "director of appointments," a post from which he gave out jobs, or more accurately, cleansed the city agencies of any trace of [defeated mayor David] Dinkins' influence.

...His only prior work experience before his fortuitous City Hall appointment by Mr. Giuliani was as a bartender in Boston.

But loyalty is what counts in Mr. Giuliani's universe, and in that category, Mr. Carbonetti's qualifications are unsurpassed.

"I had no allegiance to anyone but Rudy," said Mr. Carbonetti. "So I guess that made me the perfect guy for that job."

Oh, that's a great standard for hiring. So what did Carbonetti do?

He would later proved his fealty to Mr. Giuliani by sending the letter to Mr. Giuliani's then-wife, Donna Hannover, that essentially stripped her of her budget as first lady. He also tagged along with Mr. Giuliani and his future wife, Judith Nathan, on their first public date and stuck close to the former mayor’s side during Sept. 11. After leaving City Hall, he followed Mr. Giuliani to the consulting firm Giuliani Partners.

So this guy was a bartender. Then he was basically a key member of Giuliani's entourage. And this qualifies him to do what now?

In January, he participated in a briefing about Iraq with Mr. Giuliani and Mr. King by Iraq "surge" architects Gen. Jack Keane and military scholar Frederick Kagan. He says he takes loads of policy briefing papers home every night to his Upper East Side apartment, where he lives with his wife and two daughters, and talks about his "friends in the Middle East."

Yikes. Under President Giuliani, this guy's going to be picking bombing targets.

And what made Rudy decide this guy was a diamond in the rough?

MR. CARBONETTI GREW up on 116th Street and Second Avenue in what was then called Italian Harlem.

His grandfather, Louis Carbonetti Sr, was ... pals with a failed stickup artist named Harold Giuliani.

Their sons, Louis Carbonetti Jr. and Rudy Giuliani, also became friends.

And, in Rudy Giuliani's world, being the grandson of a guy dad knew in The Old Neighborhood is all it takes to be considered eminently qualified for a job.

Oh, and all the relatives are automatically considered qualified as well:

(Mr. Carbonetti's father also received an administration post [from Mayor Giuliani], but was forced to resign in 1995 as the result of a financial scandal. His mother received a promotion to a lucrative position at the city's Housing Authority as Mr. Giuliani prepared to leave office.)

Critics of the Clinton presidency saw Bill as just a local yokel who brought a lot other dumb-hick yokels to D.C. They called it provincialism -- but you can be just as provincial if you come from a sophisticated big city. If Giuliani is elected, he'll be the most provincial president in anyone's living memory.

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