With Giuliani’s crushing loss in the Florida Republican primary, his national political career appears to be over (unless McCain or some other Republican becomes president and he becomes — gack — head of H@^&$*@land Security). First of all, before anyone gloats too much about this being a ringing defeat of his shameless and extended and increasingly hollow shilling of 9/11 — it’s much more likely that “America’s Mayor” really wasn’t. He was New York City’s mayor, and I don’t know why political pundits will never get it through their heads that New York City’s political icons just don’t have legs nationally. Never have, never will.

From a purely political standpoint, Giuliani represents amazing waste and miscalculation. For his leadership during 9/11 was pretty exceptional, though imperfect, and he — like America at large — had a golden opportunity to seize the moment and make something lasting and constructive out of what had previously been a none-too-perfect record. He didn’t, and we didn’t. Instead, the impulse was to overdramatize very real losses in exactly the wrong way, to confabulate, to self-promote, to just not get that there are some places you’re not meant to go — be it invading Iraq or just Florida (in hopes of running the whole country).

Perhaps an all too predictable outcome, but still worth a moment of silence before the gloating continues. With the Democrats busy destroying themselves on racial and gender issues they’ve foolishly ignored for the past 30 years, we still don’t have any logical captain for the ship, and the worst rapids are just ahead.

8 thoughts on “Giuliani

  1. sean

    i return to the wonderful chris rock line about giuliani:

    “He’s like a pit bull. He’s great if you have a burglar, but if you don’t, he might eat your kids.”


  2. Ellen Post author

    Edwards dropped out. Bummer. Although he wasn’t doing a very effective job of moderating the internecine conflicts in the Democratic nomination process, at least he was an alternative.

    As for dangerous pit bulls (great quote btw and I can imagine Rock’s delivery perfectly), is it just me, or is there a sense that neither Obama nor Clinton have any sort of handle at all on the competing, long-pent-up anguishes being released by their candidacies? They are talking “hope” and “future,” while increasing numbers of their voters seem filled with unchanneled resentment. Not Good At All.

    This is what the Democratic Party gets for being good Republicans all these years.

  3. Robinia

    Great quote on the pit bull. And, the analysis about NYC Mayors makes me feel strangely immune to both Bloomfield and Citigroup simultaneously. Those pent-up people though, better watch out for them. Rumor has it they are feeling too ornery to shop, let alone vote, and so threatening the economy of the entire world.

  4. Phil

    >>>I don’t know why political pundits will never get it through their heads that New York City’s political icons just don’t have legs nationally. Never have, never will.

    Well, I don’t know about never–The best I can come up with is Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Nelson Rockefeller–all a long time ago. (Oh, and Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall).

    Giuliani will be forever cast as a John Lindsay type–early promise, no follow through.

  5. sean

    he may have been a governor, but when it came to running for president he certainly lacked those same trademark new york legs.

  6. Phil

    Who has run for President as Mayor of NYC? I would say that few NY’ers of any office have really inserted themselves into the national political consciousness. LaGuardia. the Roosevelts. Dewey. Rockefeller. Lindsay. Cuomo. Giuliani. (Not to mention the behind the scenes influentials–Harriman, Lodge, Moynihan.)

    I think NY’ers national influence has been less political and more financial, entertainment, legal.

    Bloomberg, anyone?

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