August 31, 2004


Giuliani Plays Role of Backer With Relish (MICHAEL SLACKMAN, 8/31/04, NY Times)

Rudolph W. Giuliani's spirited address last night at Madison Square Garden followed weeks of marathon campaigning for President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. From personal appearances on the campaign trail to television spots and radio and newspaper interviews, Mr. Giuliani seemed to be everywhere aiding the re-election effort, a role that is tailor-made for the former mayor.

The speech was a high point for Mr. Giuliani as he repeatedly brought the crowd to its feet, trying to take the moral high ground, invoking the memories of Sept. 11, while also throwing the crowd political red meat, attacking the Democratic nominee John Kerry.

"Maybe this explains John Edwards's need for two Americas - one where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against the same thing," Mr. Giuliani said at one point, drawing a huge roar from the crowd.

It was the return of the combative, in-your-face mayor whom New Yorkers had come to know well, and whom the nation may be hearing more from.

The last few weeks have been the highest public profile Mr. Giuliani has had since he left City Hall. His role as cheerleader-in-chief has fueled speculation that Mr. Giuliani hopes to emerge as the party's strongest presidential hopeful in 2008. Polls show that Mr. Giuliani has tremendous support among the party faithful and among voters nationwide, though he says it is too soon to begin thinking about 2008.

"I may run for office again, but I will wait until after this election to see what makes sense, what works, what do I want," Mr. Giuliani said in an interview before the speech.

The recognition of Mr. Giuliani and Mr. McCain that their path to the White House requires their being seen to help re-elect George W. Bush provides the President with a couple poiwerful weapons.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 31, 2004 12:00 AM

Americans, and in particular American politicians, can smell a loser. Thus we see Giuliani and McCain and Daschle (literally) embracing Bush. Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein and their ilk are sitting against the gymnasium wall like junior high debs politely refusing the advances of the geek who wants to embarass them on the dance floor.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at August 31, 2004 2:50 AM

I don't even think Mama T has enough money to purchase a couple of those for JFK.

Posted by: Melissa at August 31, 2004 2:54 AM