Giuliani Mythology

In preparation for 2008, a great deal of mythology is going to be created for each potential candidate. But no candidate requires as much work as Rudy Giuliani. Most pressingly, he's got to prove to the Republican base that he is, in fact, a conservative. While he's certainly got the bad attitude and near-authoritarianism down pat, there are whole raft of other issues he and the Falwell crowd may not exactly see eye to eye on.

At The Fix, Chris Cillizza makes "The Case Against Rudy Giuliani," point out that he's got too much socially-liberal baggage -- pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-gun control, etc. -- to win a Republican primary. This is something quite a few of us have been saying for a long time. But Paul Waldman of The Gadflyer takes exception to the back story Cillizza creates for Giuliani to explain these positions. I'd have to agree with Waldman -- it's pretty lame.

But being elected mayor in the Big Apple required Giuliani to adopt views on social issues -- he's pro-abortion rights, pro-gay marriage and pro-gun control -- to make himself an acceptable to his hometown's liberal-minded voters.

"...required Giuliani to adopt views"? What exactly does it mean when you "adopt" a view? Well, you take a view that's not your own, and make it your own.

Here's an idea: maybe Giuliani actually believes what he says he believes....

Now, Waldman and I come at this from slightly different perspectives. I don't think this is a case of Cillizza being cynical in assuming Giuliani "adopted" those views for political convenience. I think that's actually what Cillizza believes. After all, that's the mythology Giuliani's trying to build for himself.

Back in January, TIME documented Giuliani's efforts down South to suck up to figures on the religious right, like Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed. Last fall, Giuliani campaigned the fringe right candidate Charlie Winburn in the Cincinnati mayoral primary. After having vigorously described himself as pro-choice and pro-gay rights, that's a pretty wide swing.

Clearly, Cillizza's right that Giuliani's "adopted" some of his principles out of political expedience. Like Waldman though, it seems more likely to me the that it's the new Rudy Giuliani that's the front, not the old one. However, the most important point remains unchanged -- Rudy Giuliani has no trouble selling out his principles to get what he wants.

Tags: 2008, General 2008, Media, Rudy Giuliani (all tags)

Comments

15 Comments

Waitaminute

sounds like Rudy went to a focus group, if he was taking views just to kiss up to people.

I guess Rudy can either be a strong leader and display his baggage.

Or he can be a focus group candidate who discovers that he's "pro-life" and "pro-2nd amendment" in time for the primaries.

Rudy is toast when it comes to the Republican primaries.

by RBH 2006-03-16 08:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Giuliani Mythology

to make himself an acceptable to his hometown's liberal-minded voters

I think this is kind of crap because Giuliani did NOT take a liberal stance on all hot-button social issues. In particular, he blew several gaskets over the "Virgin Mary/Elephant Dung" painting, threatening to withhold city funding from the Bklyn Museum. It was both thuggish AND reactionary-conservative.

I have no idea what the polls were on the issue at the time, but it certainly doesn't square with his stances on other social issues. And I take that to mean he actually DOES believe in things like abortion rights, gun control, etc. If he were a total phony, just adopting liberal positions to ingratiate himself with the rest of New York, he'd have shut up about that Virgin Mary painting.

by DavidNYC 2006-03-16 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Giuliani Mythology

Going further beyond that, Guiliani wage an overly aggressive war against the homeless (not against homelessnes, but the people themselves). Homeless were routinely subject to city-wide roundups using police-state tactics. Giuliani's beliefs and methods in addressing homelessness are not the beliefs of a liberal.

What's worse, Giuliani is much like Bush in his refusal to follow any law but his own. Giuliani's administration was found to have violated New Yorker's 1st Amendment freedoms 17 times as of March 2000 [NYT Pay link]. Giuliani cannot be confused as a liberal or moderate. He's a hardliner on many issues important to governance. Were it not for September 11th, he would have gone down as a mediocre, tyrannical mayor at best.

by PhiloTBG 2006-03-17 09:15AM | 0 recs
by mindgeek 2006-03-17 01:39AM | 0 recs
I dunno

Was there a lot of cross-dressing on Hee-haw?

I know I've seen Larry the Cable Guy in a dress.

Rednecks love to be sexual confused.  Remember, it's not a turn on if it isn't bad to get caught.

by jcjcjc 2006-03-17 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Giuliani Mythology

Giuliani is toast.

A founding partner of Giuliani Partners LLC, Daniel Connolly, is representing The Falls bar in the Imette St. Guillen murder case. If there is one thing that the GOP base loves - it's the murdered white girl story. Rity Cosby is on this case EVERY DAY. You can say Rudy has nothing to do with the case but 'Giuliani Partners' is representing a bar that has been less than cooperative in a high profile murder case. Does anyone believe his GOP opponents won't poison the waters with for Giuliani in a primary?

Add Kerik, abortion, gay rights, and serial infidelity as issues he needs to overcome and he is not viable.

by joejoejoe 2006-03-17 02:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Giuliani Mythology

Correction.  St. Guillen is actually Hispanic but I agree with you on the premise.  This will not ingratiate him to the hang em high crowd.

by John Mills 2006-03-17 06:01AM | 0 recs
Blow Rudy out of the water now

It needs to be pointed out that:

A) 9/11 SAVED Rudy.   He was going nowhere as a pol before 9/11.   Hillary would have creamed him if he had run against her for the Seante.   If not for 9/11 Rudy would have retired and been forgotten.

B) Rudy is a shameless self promoter who would run over his mother to get to a camera.

C) Rudy is not a great public speaker as some - like Chris Matthews - like to say.   He stutters and blinks a lot.

D) Rudy pulled a Clinton - Monica deal in Gracie Mansion.

E) Since 9/11 Rudy has trotted around the globe with his hand out, including in corrupt settings like Mexico City.c

by dpANDREWS 2006-03-17 03:21AM | 0 recs
He got kicked out of Gracie Mansion

His wife kicked him out of the mayor's quarters, and so he went to live with a gay couple.  He's over. He can't possibly run as a man's man in a republican primary.

by jayackroyd 2006-03-17 05:11AM | 0 recs
I've got that fixed!!!!

1. He left his wife because she was an uppity bitch.  See?  Totally wins the rednecks with guns vote (y'know, the ones who support the Iraq war because it's a chance to legally kill people of a different race).

2. He went to live with the queers in order to BRING THEM TO JESUS!!!

See?!  It's brilliant!

Roooooooo-deeeeeeeeee!

Rudi! Rudi! Rudie!

by jcjcjc 2006-03-17 05:32AM | 0 recs
Guiliani: Italian for Clinton

It's a lot like Bill Clinton.  

One tends to assume that executing retarded people is politically expedient, an one hopes he doesn't really believes it's a good idea, but at the end of the day, whatever you feel about Clinton you gotta concede that he decided to execute a retarded man during his term as governor.

While I'm generally a Clinton supporter, I'm not a Kool-Aid drinker.

In The GOP, the Kool-Aid drinkers are much more common.  But, the problem is they've already sworn allegiance to the far-right.

Guiliani can't win this argument.

by jcjcjc 2006-03-17 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Giuliani Mythology

There's a great quote from Peter King floating around about how he and Rudy both worked as law clerks, or somethning, in Dick Nixon's law firm in the 70's. At that time, King says, Rudy was a leftist radical.

http://www.rnclife.org/faxnotes/1999/jan 99/99-01-07.html

Here's the quote (which actually came from an article in the Washington Times):

"Thirty years ago, Rep. Peter King, a GOP congressman from Long Island worked alongside Mr. Giuliani when they were interns in Richard M. Nixon's law firm. In those days, Mr. King recalled, the mayor was a "radical left" supporter of activists like Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown. "He didn't think much of Republicans then," said Mr. King, "except maybe Rocky" -- former Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York. Citing the mayor's stands on abortion and homosexual rights, Mr. King described Mr. Giuliani as "too liberal" and "too temperamental" to be a GOP presidential choice."

So I think Rudy's true colors are that he's a liberal. And any moves to the "right" now are phony and self-serving.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2006-03-17 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Giuliani Mythology

This blog's consensus seems to be that Rudy won't win the GOP nomination, whether he "reinvents" himself as an anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro-gun wingnut or not. Y'all are probably right: the fundies will never trust him, so he probably won't win the nomination.

I hope so, because Rudy would be a very dangerous candidate in the general election. He got a lot of props on Sept. 11; undeserved props, to be sure, but props nonetheless. And unless Democrats suddenly wake up and nominate a civil-liberties advocate like Feingold, his authoritarianism and anti-democratic instincts (he tried to get his Mayoral term extended in the wake of Sept. 11, despite being term-limited) won't even be a campaign issue.

Imagine a President as evil as Bush, but not incompetent. It's scary.

And don't forget, he could still become Vice-President! A McCain-Giuliani ticket would be awfully tough to beat in 2008.

by Mathwiz 2006-03-17 06:34AM | 0 recs
You guys don't get it

These people, Republicans, are completely unprincipled, brainwashed people with a complete absence of any cognitive abilities whatsoever. They will support ANYONE, even Satan, if their establishment tells them to. They will believe ANYTHING that there establishment tells them to.

These people proclaim themselves the party of God and are the first to attack the morality of others while nominating and/or supporting, pedophiles, mobsters, perjurers , murderers, tons of adulterers, johns, gay porno stars, drag queens, drug users, shoplifters, and tax evaders. The establishment will support Guiliani if they think he can win. If the establishment supports him so will their base.  

by bushsucks 2006-03-17 06:40AM | 0 recs
Oft Forgotten: Rudy Endorsed Cuomo in '94

That sure will play well with hard right conservatives, huh?

by Andmoreagain 2006-03-17 07:23AM | 0 recs

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