October 5, 2007
Giuliani: a history lesson
It is totally understandable for most Americans who live outside the NYC metropolitan area to think of Rudy Giuliani as a strong, no-nonsense leader who takes a tough stance on fighting terror and is experienced in managing complicated governments.
People who lived in NY while he was mayor know the truth: the guy is a belligerent, obnoxious jackass.
The NY Times has compiled a history of memorable moments on Giuliani's weekly radio call-in show, which is like a microcosm of his entire political career. For New Yorkers, it serves as a reminder of why Le Tigre called him "a fucking jerk", and as a wake-up call for everybody else.
A few choice excerpts:
On Aug. 8, 1998, Marvin from Brooklyn complained that the mayor talked too much about the Yankees. (Mr. Giuliani opened summertime programs by examining the Yankees’ prospects and closed with: "Go Yankees!") Marvin got off the line but the mayor was not finished with him.
"Marvin, where’d you go? You go back into your hole, Marvin? Listen, I enjoy sports, Marvin — you think that makes me a bad person? Marvin, get a life."
When Bob from Manhattan asked in 1999 about a report linking a mayoral friend to ethical wrongdoing, Mr. Giuliani butted in.
"Why don’t you seek counseling somewhere, Bob? I think you could use some help. I can see the direction we’re going in — there are people so upset and so disturbed that they use radios for these sick little attacks on people," Mr. Giuliani said. "I hope you take this in the right spirit, Bob. You should go to a hospital. You should see a psychiatrist."
You know, I totally dislike this guy and think he would make a terrible President, but these old anecdotes? They're pretty funny. I read these, and I'm sort of grudgingly amazed at how outspoken and ballsy (and crass and offensive) Giuliani could be, in public, over the airwaves, to his own constituents. It's still a mystery to me how he got elected, twice, but these stories demonstrate one quality that will always appeal to many New Yorkers--the guy has no problem telling people when he thinks they're full of shit.
And now the very qualities that he had no problem sharing with the world pre-9/11 are the same ones that he's successfully (so far) toned down while campaigning in places like Iowa and New Hampshire.
But it's only a matter of time before he shows his true colors and tells some elderly, ferret-owning voter that she's sick in the head and needs to get a life.
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