Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Giuliani Tourist Trap

"[Florida] is a state of full of mothers who live for phone calls from long-distance adult children... ."
Timothy Egan, Jan. 24, 2008
Timothy Egan, 2006 National Book Award winner for his historical treatment of the Great Dust Bowl, today is blogging for the New York Times. Summarizing Rudy Giuliani's imploding Florida campaign, he uses a memorably snarky headline to foretell the conclusion: "Goodbye Rudy, Tuesday."
[Y]ou can summarize Giuliani’s problems in the line he no longer uses. When the World Trade Center towers came down, he turned to his loyal sidekick Bernie Kerik, and said he was glad George Bush was president.

Now, that line is a triple loser. Kerik, his police commissioner, is under federal indictment, in a sea of troubles. Bush is despised by two-thirds of Americans, and even a majority of Republicans want to go in a different direction.
* * *
Yet Giuliani still wants to frighten people into voting for him. Maybe that’s why he hired the gothic-faced actor Jon Voight to stump for him in Florida. What, Christopher Walken wasn’t available?
There is no doubt that Giuliani's unpopularity in Florida is snowballing. The Miami Herald reports his poll numbers have sunk to Huckabee levels, just above "Undecided" and the campaign corpse known as "Fred Thompson." The odd thing is that Egan attributes this to Giuliani's estrangement from his children rather than to the ex-mayor's hateful, retributive personality.

"This is a state of full of mothers who live for phone calls from long-distance adult children," Egan writes, "and there’s one thing they can’t abide – Rudy’s wreck of a family life."
Yes, people roll their eyes over the story of how Giuliani’s third wife picked him up in a cigar bar while he was still married to the second Mrs. Hizzoner. But I heard no end of condemnation over the mayor’s estrangement from his two children.
Another Times reporter, Michael Powell, probably has it right: Giuliani is hitting it off with the sight-seeing snowbirds, but not with voters who actually live in Florida. He's become a scary kind of tourist trap -- sort of like St. Augustine's Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum -- not a serious candidate for what we used to call "leader of the free world."

1 comment:

Joe Thompson said...

It seems there's a concerted campaign out there by people to attempt to drag Rudy Giuliani down in any way they can, including (but not limited to) posting in forums like this. Y'know, repeat misinformation enough and it becomes true, that sort of thing. So rather than play that game, I'd like to issue a challenge to those who seem to spend their oddly ample spare time posting anti-Giuliani comments.

I'll take it as a given you don't support Giuliani - ok, great. Who DO you support? My bet is you support a Democratic candidate, in which case I really have nothing to say to you. If however, you support a Republican, I'd like to ask a simple question - why???

Here's why I support Rudy (and these are all statements that I consider unquestionable, so don't bother with the same tired arguments!): 1) he stood up to the mob and won; 2) he (at a minimum) played a significant role in turning NYC from a failed city into a great city; 3) he has a long history of favoring "supply side" economic policies; 4) he has a long history of achieving great successes despite enormous odds; 5) he has guts to say what he believes and to stick to it; 6) millions of people saw Rudy as a true beacon of hope and strength on 9/11; 7) he hates government waste at a visceral level; 8) he understands what we're up against in the war on Islamic terror (e.g., throwing Yasser Arafat out of Lincoln Center; spitting in the eye of a Saudi prince who said WE were responsible for 9/11).

This is why I support Rudy. Now please - tell me again why you support ANY other Republican candidate? At a minimum, Rudy is: 1) a fiscal conservative; and 2) a social moderate. Frankly, that's ALL I need - and Rudy is the ONLY one in the field who meets these two very easy conditions!

So, again - tell me WHY you support Romney, Huckabee, or McCain (I'd prefer NOT to hear from Paul supporters - sorry about that). In telling me why you support "your guy," please avoid using the word "change." If I hear the word "change" again I think I'll scream.

I truly believe we are at a critical juncture in the history of the United States, and that Rudy is the only candidate who's got the guts, experience, and tenacity to make the tough decisions that will need to get made over the next 4 to 8 years. Tell me how it is the OTHER candidates are better.