November 20, 2006



Some of Rudy Giuliani's fiercest city critics are set to launch "swift boat"-type strikes to inform voters around the nation about the former mayor's behavior before 9/11, The Post has learned.

"There have already been some informal discussions by people who were very involved [in] some of the controversies during the Giuliani era," said civil-rights lawyer Norman Siegel. [...]

* Marital woes. Giuliani was once married to a cousin, Regina Peruggi, then went through a bitter divorce with wife No. 2, Donna Hanover, while publicly romancing wife No. 3, Judith Nathan.

* Living arrangements. Conservatives might be put off by Giuliani's decision to live with two gay men while estranged from his wife, Donna Hanover. [...]

* Social issues: The former mayor has leaned left on gun control, abortion rights and gay rights, views that could put him at odds with right-wingers.

His strength right now lies in no one knowing anything about him beyond 9-11.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 20, 2006 6:37 AM

So, they're bringing up 9/10 things in a 9/11 world????

Posted by: Sandy P at November 20, 2006 2:17 PM

I don't know what measure you are using to judge his strength but my measure is that when I would go to Times Square before Rudy at 2AM the place was deserted except for drug addicts and teenage prostitutes while now you see tourists and families crowding the place at 2 and 3 and 4 AM. Whereas before you saw all the threatening squeegee bums, now they are gone. Before you had the transvestite hookers patrolling the center dividers of the highways while people were on their way in to work in the morning, now they are gone. Before 42nd Street between 8th and Broadway was nothing but blocked out stores and porn shops, and now it is theatres and restaurants and stores doing business. Before you had subway cars that were so marked up you could not even see the maps to find the way to where you wanted to go because of all the graffiti and now you can read them easily and the cars are relatively clean.

That is what Rudy did when all the pundits said that NYC was ungovernable and that Rudy was a Hitler and a fascist and a dictator. He won with 70% of the vote in a democratic controlled city because what he did worked. Older people could go to the store without worrying about being clobbered in the head by young louts stealing their money. Crime went way down. He turned the whole city around and the democrats were kicking and screaming all the way. That is why I am in his favor. The man takes a stand to improve the place and does what he says he will do. All else is trimmings.

Posted by: dick at November 20, 2006 3:12 PM

The fact the his primary critics are NY civil rights attys will be to his credit with the American people.

Likewise, when they see that the Lefties go just as beserk if not more about Rudy as they do about W . . .

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at November 20, 2006 3:57 PM

Rudy's influence was evident in the boroughs too. In the Elmhurst/Rego Park area of Queens where my parents lived, the streets were cleaned of debris and graffiti and an underpass of the LIRR was cleaned of at least 25 years worth of garbage. The first time we drove by, I did a double take and thought I was in the wrong place.

If only he could get elected, he would a fabulous successor to Bush.

Posted by: erp at November 20, 2006 4:40 PM

Republican primary voters never visited Times Square before or after Rudy. It's the kind of thing that matters to the Eastern Establishment, which lost control of the party in '64.

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2006 4:57 PM

Comparing Rudy to Rockefeller is quite silly.

Guiliani's strength is that he hasn't poked his finger in the eye of the base, just to make a point. Rocky used to do that, no?

I notice that McCain is "tacking right", according to the media. But how can they tell? More importantly, how will "the right" know?

Rudy may disagree on some big issues - but he probably won't dissemble about it, like McCain already has.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 20, 2006 10:13 PM

Why? Rudy is Rockefeller. A competent enough executive from New York but too liberal for his own party on social issues. No one will know when McCain tacks Right because he's too conservative to do so.

Posted by: oj at November 20, 2006 11:31 PM

The only comparison between Rudy and Rocky is that both were 'tough' executives from NY. But Rudy has campaigned for conservative candidates around the nation. I'm a bit young to remember if Rocky did that, but somehow I doubt it. Rudy is an ethnic pol and he connects; Rocky was quite different.

If you had an accurate snapshot of the 'conservative' base today (the economic part, the religious part, the philosophical part, and even the country clubbers), my guess is Guiliani is ahead of McCain. Rudy will have to tack on partial-birth abortion, but his clarity on other issues will help him. As a Senator, and particularly as a "maverick", McCain has to explain his every position and remember all his explanations.

Rudy has never condescended towards the base (as Rocky did). And he has never insulted the base, as McCain has done for 6 years. Rudy doesn't have to win back anyone's trust. McCain has to practically eat crow every day for the next 15 months.

And McCain is constrained in another way - he can't go nuclear negative on Rudy because he has decried negative politics for so long that he will turn everyone off if he does. He is more straight-jacketed than Guiliani.

It will be a very interesting race.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2006 11:01 AM

The conservative base is religious--Rudy is hedonist. He can't win once people know more about him than 9-11, which didn't save Bernie Kerik's bacon either.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2006 12:02 PM

Rudy was an excellent Mayor, both before and during 9/11.

McCain has been a Senator for almost 20 years. What has he done, other than promote things that are unconstitutional?

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2006 12:34 PM