Friday, February 01, 2008


It pains me to be nice to either of the Giulianis, but really, this New York Daily News article is misogynist nonsense:

How Judi killed off Rudy Giuliani

... part of Rudy Giuliani's presidential flameout can be traced back to his Judi -- the woman he fell for in a cigar bar in 1999 while he was the married mayor with a wife and two young children at home.

"She was a major part of the reason for Giuliani's collapse," said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "Rudy wanted to head up the 'family values' party, and Judi didn't fit that label. Even worse, Giuliani was estranged from his children. Their refusal to campaign for him spoke volumes to voters."

Among the low notes that brought national embarrassment to the one-time GOP frontrunner: her use of taxpayer-funded NYPD detectives as personal valets and chauffeurs while she was the mayor's mistress; revelations of a secret past marriage; and interrupting Giuliani's speech to the National Rifle Association with a cutesy cell phone call to say hi....

Stop right there. So it's her fault he took her call during the speech? It's not his fault that he was too damn stupid to keep his phone turned off?


Giuliani also had to retract a comment during a Barbara Walters interview that, if elected, he'd allow his wife -- a graduate of a two-year nursing program with no college degree -- to sit in on cabinet meetings.

And it's her fault that, as he prepared to face voters in a party that despises the Clintons, he stupidly proclaimed that his presidency would mimic an aspect of the Clinton presidency those voters despise?

Press accounts were not flattering either, describing the 53-year-old Hazleton, Pa., native as a social climber who liked to spend Giuliani's post-9/11 cash.

In a Vanity Fair profile last fall, a Giuliani aide remarked that an "entire airplane seat was needed for Judith's 'Baby Louis' -- a reference to her expensive Louis Vuitton handbag -- which sits in solitary splendor on her travels."

Oh, right. I'm sure that made a huge difference -- because so many Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire and Michigan and South Carolina read Vanity Fair and the New York tabloids.

Sorry, I don't buy this. I'm not saying she was an asset to his campaign -- a few GOP voters in Florida surely ran across that Louis Vuitton story. But any concessions he made to her during the campaign or prior to it, whether arranging taxpayer-funded police protection or distancing himself from his previous wife's kids, was a concession he chose to make.

As for the secret marriage -- surely he knew about it years ago. And surely he knew he wanted to run for president years ago. Why didn't he let the story get out years ago -- preferably on a Friday before a three-day weekend?

(And please note that the "family values" party is about to nominate a candidate, John McCain, with an unpleasant divorce in his past. Many in the party were prepared to embrace the twice-married Fred Thompson, whose first child was conceived out of wedlock and whose current wife is several years younger than that child. And the party's greatest saint, Ronald Reagan, was also divorced.)

Giuliani never had an adequate response to all the Kerik stories. He never had a memorable message on the economy or any issue other than kicking dark-skinned people's butts. He had no fire in his belly when he wasn't indulging in nostalgia for his mayoral days or snapping at Ron Paul about 9/11. His positions on social issues horrified many religious conservatives (and most religious conservative leaders, some of whom threatened to support a third-party candidate if he won the nomination). And he seemed afraid to stay in the fight in any state where he was losing, even as he tried to posture as a tough guy.

All this and the Daily News thinks what lost it for him was his wife?

I can't help thinking that this reflects a bit of embarrassment at how chatterers in New York fell for Rudy once upon a time. The swells really dug him here for years, and then again after 9/11 -- but the so-called rubes in flyover country saw through all his phony bluster. What was the difference? Oh, it must have been the ball and chain. Yeah, people liked him in New York, but mostly before she came along. So it must be her fault.

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