Monday, May 01, 2006

If It Quacks Like a Duck...

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has been traveling around on the Republican fund raiser junket, looking not only to help out right wing congressional candidates, but also estimating his own chances at a 2008 Presidential bid. The prevailing thought is that Giuliani, not being a "typical Republican" will have a hard time currying favor with the party's conservative base.

While I'm certainly not hoping for the Republicans to nominate the one public figure who I find less palatable than the current president, I'm wondering what, exactly is so atypical about him?

Like many of his compadres, he's mastered the art of profiting personally and politically from vast human suffering. Despite Bushian 30-something approval ratings on September 10th, 2001, Giuliani managed to make himself look like a hero, especially outside the Big Apple, by attending a lot of funerals and looking distraught but calm on TV after 9/11. After his term ended he started collecting six figure speaking fees, which were only available to him because of his post-9/11 popularity, and started Giuliani Partners, which has won no-bid contracts in Iraq as well as a consulting job with Entergy, a company looking to limit its Hurricane Katrina related losses. Sounds like a typical republican to me!

Realistically, the strongarm bully tactics and nasty rhetoric that Giuliani commonly used as mayor probably won't play on a national scale, and he'll either decide not to run, or drop out early in the campaign. The bright side of him staying in the race long-term would be that hopefully more people nationwide would begin to see through the heroic image that he and the national media have created. Maybe they'd learn how, as mayor, he belittled teachers and city employees, or how under his watch police brutality reached record highs, or how during his reign those firefighters whose funerals he attended had been working without a contract for over a year.

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