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Thos Paine

Questions about Rudy and 9/11

Posted on 2007.03.09 at 11:47
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: 13th Floor Elevators - Tried To Hide
On the heels of my McCain questions, I also have been wondering about Rudy Giuliani. I read the Newsweek profile of him, and am still puzzled.
First off, I apologize if any New Yorkers are offended. I feel that the nerves of New Yorkers are still pretty raw when it comes to discussing 9/11, so I apologize for any offense.
It seems like 9/11 is the reason that Giuliani is able to run. Whatever you think of his mayoral tenure, no mayor has gone directly to the Presidency ever; if he had the time and patience, he could have run for Governor or Senator (which he almost did before bowing to Hillary) and then for the Presidency, but his current success, and his viability as a candidate is due to his performance on 9/11. Fair enough?
To be far, his performance on 9/11 and in the weeks afterward was brilliant. It was just what we needed. He was calm, brave and articulate. He was in charge in the midst of chaos. In the weeks that followed he was compassionate in the face of death and destruction, and hopeful for the future. He deserves credit for that. In the midst of an actual crisis, on that day, Rudy is a good man to have.
But what else did he do, really? Did he do what we need a President to do? He didn’t prevent 9/11, and that wasn’t his job. He wasn’t involved in national security or intelligence or anything like that. Credit or blame for that doesn’t apply to him. The city has made some strides in better preparing first responders, educating the public, and improving communication between city services and national ones, like Homeland Security, but that wasn’t Rudy’s doing, that was the job of his successor, Mike Bloomberg.
It seems that Giuliani provided real and necessary comfort and encouragement during the actual attack, and in the days after. He should probably be made lifetime head of FEMA; if he had been in charge during hurricane Katrina, I bet things would have gone a lot better. But it seems that doing what a President needs to do isn’t what he did, and that his experience on 9/11 is largely irrelevant to how a President needs to respond to terrorism. His only real contrinution to the whole issue has been Bernard Kerik.
So is that right? Explain to me why I am wrong about any of that, please.


Byzantine Spy
byzantinespy at 2007-03-09 18:25 (UTC) (Link)
To his credit, Rudi also turned NYC, which was crime-ridden, sleazy, and massively unorganized into a safer and more pleasent city to live in. Given that NYC has a population larger than many states, I wouldn't put it against him that he's only been a mayor.
theservant at 2007-03-09 19:12 (UTC) (Link)
Fair enough; and I am not saying that he SHOULDN'T be a Presidential contender as a former Mayor, only that he WOULDN'T be except for 9/11.
metalclarinet at 2007-03-09 20:03 (UTC) (Link)
First, lets be honest. What have any of the Democrats done? They have all been senators. They hold hearings which mostly resemble the type of interrogations that bullies conduct on the playground. Witness the jackels moving in on the Walter Reed administrators to try and score a few scraps from the kill. Everybody knows that the solutions to the problems are now in motion. The congressional arm waiving is mostly because they don't want to get serious about ending the war.

A senator does about as much managing as a Second Lieutenant. He leads the platoon meaning he relays orders from above. The Sargents actually do most of the managing.

As to Rudi, New Yorkers put 9/11 maybe third on their list. Crime and cleanup are the top two. Personally, I believe that most of the decline in crime was due to demographics. Maybe 100%. But the cleanup is real and that was a substantial administrative accomplishment.

And wasn't he schtupping his girlfriend in his office or something like that? That would be high on my list, too.
theservant at 2007-03-09 20:57 (UTC) (Link)
Well, I wasn't asking about the Dems yet, and I think that a mayor has tools (like his own police force) and sometimes powers that a President doesn't; but do you really think that it is anything besides 9/11 that have put Giuliani where he is nationally?

I think it was Kerik who was doing his girlfriend in the office, or actually the 9/11 suite for the first responders. Rudy sued to force his wife to move out of the mayoral mansion so that he could move his girlfriend in.
uberconfused at 2007-03-09 21:01 (UTC) (Link)
Giuliani had an affair with his press secretary which led to the very public break-up of his marriage.

And yes, Giuliani is widely credited with cleaning up New York. Albeit at the cost of a lot of peoples' civil liberties and a war against the homeless. Not to mention the chronic problems with police brutality on his watch.

If I remember correctly, there was already talk of Giuliani running for president long before 9/11. People were speculating on whether or not it would be Pataki or Giuliani, or whether or not they'd run as a Pres/Veep ticket.
theservant at 2007-03-09 21:12 (UTC) (Link)
The press secretary was his second wife; she led to the break up of his first marriage, which he had annulled by the church on grounds that he had married his second cousin without the special church dispensation needed to do that. The second wife/press secretary, I think, was the one that he sued to make move out so he could move in his now-wife.
Family values!

But do you think that he would have any kind of national traction without 9/11?
sputnik5 at 2007-03-10 00:45 (UTC) (Link)
As a New Yorker, I very mich disagree with your claim that Giuliani was brilliant in the wake of 9/11. He looked nice for the cameras. And he was calm. And then he tried to secure an extended mayorship for himself. Katrina should have been handled by effective evacuation. Ditto for the Towers when the first plane hit. And neither one really happened.
theservant at 2007-03-11 23:23 (UTC) (Link)
Interesting. I was just sort of taking it as read that he was good on 9/11 so I wouldn't have to argue the point. Feel free, though!
He was good on TV that day.
(Anonymous) at 2007-03-23 14:50 (UTC) (Link)
i loved rudy during the 9/11 aftermath, just like i loved clinton on tv. i'm a sucker, but when they told me things were ok, i believed it. i wanted to believe it. they look the part- they are leaders, and people want to follow them. clinton was a sleeze, which i don't so much care about (rudy is too, as someone pointed out). i say, screw whoever you want, so long as you do your job. i would advocate paying women to take care of them if need be, if the rest of the country was under control, as wrong as all that is. our doofy president now? I can't stand to see the guy on tv. he was on the other night re: firing prosecutors- the guy looked like he was running for student council. it was awful. when he tells me things are ok, i long for rudy- but remember that i don't want to vote for him. leaders are great, but we need someone who backs up his leadership with a good plan. many of rudy's plans are steeped in the tough kind of clean up he used in nyc (where i live!)- it's great that things are clean and good, but i can't advocate some of the techniques he used to get us here. it's going to be a sticky election at best.

my dad registers as the party he's less apt to vote for. then he goes to the primary for that party, and votes for someone he thinks can win the primary but not the election. talk about one guy thinking his vote really counts!
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