February 13, 2007


Rudy Giuliani's Vulnerabilities: Secret study cited "weirdness factor" among candidate weaknesses (The Smoking Gun, 2/12/07)

As he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudolph Giuliani will have to contend with political and personal baggage unknown to prospective supporters whose knowledge of the former New York mayor is limited to his post-September 11 exploits. So, in a bid to educate the electorate, we're offering excerpts from a remarkable "vulnerability study" that was commissioned by Giuliani's campaign prior to his successful 1993 City Hall run. The confidential 450-page report, authored by Giuliani's research director and another aide, was the campaign's attempt to identify possible lines of attack against Giuliani and prepare the candidate and his staff to counter "the kinds of no-holes-barred assault" expected in a general election rematch with Democratic incumbent David Dinkins. As he tried to win election in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, Giuliani needed "inoculating against" the "Reagan Republican moniker," the vulnerability study reported. "The Giuliani campaign should emphasize its candidate's independence from traditional national Republican policies." The final six words of that sentence are underlined in the study. Additionally, the Giuliani report noted that the candidate needed to make it clear to voters that he was "pretty good on most issues of concern to gay and lesbian New Yorkers" and was pro-choice and supported public funding for abortion. "He will continue city funding for abortions at city hospitals. Nothing more, nothing less." Giuliani's stance on these issues, of course, may leave him vulnerable today with an entirely different electorate. The campaign study was obtained by The Village Voice's Wayne Barrett in the course of preparing "Rudy!," an investigative biography of Giuliani. In its preface, the study notes that it is "tough and hard-hitting. It pulls no punches." Perhaps that is why Giuliani, as Barrett reported, ordered copies of the vulnerability study destroyed shortly after it was circulated to top campaign aides. He surely could not have been pleased to read that his "personal life raises questions about a 'weirdness factor.'" That weirdness, aides reported, stemmed from Giuliani's 14-year marriage to his second cousin, a union that he got annulled by claiming to have never received proper dispensation from the Catholic Church for the unorthodox nuptials. "When asked about his personal life, Giuliani gives a wide array of conflicting answers," the campaign report stated. "All of this brings the soundness of his judgement into question--and the veracity of his answers."

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 13, 2007 3:53 PM

Politicians = weird is like water = wet.

Posted by: BJW at February 13, 2007 4:45 PM

Hmmm, so who kept the study?

Or who copied it?

Posted by: Sandy P at February 13, 2007 4:54 PM

Is it illegal to marry your 2nd cousin?

And it was a long time ago, Bubba personal politics makes it a non-issue.

He's happily married.

Vs. Maverick who has issues w/the Constitution.

Posted by: Sandy P at February 13, 2007 4:56 PM

In the post-Bubba era, Orrin, you'll have to do a lot better than this. Rudy may not get the nomination, though he's definitely the frontrunner and I would bet on him if I was Pete Rose and had to bet. But if Rudy falls short, it won't happen because the Smoking Gub thinks he's weird.

Posted by: Casey Abell at February 13, 2007 5:35 PM

Speaking of weird, I made the Woody Allen mistake! "Gub" should be "gun".

Posted by: Casey Abell at February 13, 2007 5:37 PM

Comment 1) At least he's got the West Virginia vote sewed up.

Comment 2) Guiliani can do just fine on guns, as long as he toes the line: state gun control, plus national protection of gun rights, throwing in hunter-friendly conservation policies. What he has said thus far about the Supreme Court is a big plus.

Contrary to what some people think about gun people being ignorant yahoos (known to native speakers of the tongue ot the wheelbarrow people as "wahoos"), we have not been leading the country around by the nose for all these years by political ineptitude.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 13, 2007 6:20 PM

Remember - Reagan was divorced, was estranged from his children, at one time 'favored' abortion, 'never' went to church, and was accused of dying his hair orange. Plus, he was old and was treated as senile by the Dems and the press. But when he grabbed that microphone in NH, all was forgotten (by the nascent Right). Of course, he had won over the faithful with his speech of 16 years earlier, and his campaign in 1976.

If Rudy says the right things about judges, and doesn't pretzel himself the way all other candidates have done (from Cuomo to now Mitt) about areas where they conflict with the "base", he will be fine. He doesn't have the 'speech', but he has other backstops that conservatives can appreciate.

He certainly isn't going to denigrate our friends in the world and our soldiers in the field, as Obama did last weekend. Nor will he be a nursemaid politician (a la Hillary or Bloomberg or Eliot Spitzer). Nor will he trash his base, like McCain. And he isn't going to condescend towards the religious, like Edwards has done. And he is no lightweight.

Sure, some "conservatives" (like Tony Perkins or Terence Jeffrey) have drawn a line in the sand against Giuliani. But whom will the purists support? Gingrich? Brownback? Or is Gary Bauer planning to run again? Are they waiting for Pat Buchanan? Please. Rudy is one microphone moment (or two) away from some serious love from the frustrated Right.

The real issue for the GOP today is whether how many in the House will vote in favor of the stab-in-the-back surrender resolution. Too bad DeLay isn't minority leader - it would be a seminal moment if the resolution passed with only Democratic votes.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 13, 2007 10:36 PM

Great post Jim.

Posted by: BJW at February 14, 2007 9:58 AM

Don't hold your breath until Orrin posts the Repub primary poll just up on Rasmussen:

Giuliani 32%
McCain 18%
Gingrich 10%
Romney 8%

That's a new high for Rudy and a new low for McCain. Gingrich is fading fast and Romney's going nowhere.

Yeah, it's a long time until the Iowa caucus. But McCain sure ain't heading in the right direction. Rudy is.

Posted by: Casey Abell at February 14, 2007 12:15 PM

McCain's biggest problem is that if he goes nuclear negative on Rudy, he will be violating all his self-imposed standards on how to "do" politics. He can't start a whispering campaign, he can't run just attack ads, and he can't point to his 'leadership' in the party because he hasn't really shown that much.

McCain has to break out of his mold - as some have suggested here, he could begin wondering why the press is so hostile towards victory in Iraq. He could begin attacking Democrats and their positions & statements, instead of lamely defending them. He could begin to talk about the robust economy and cheerfully credit Republican policies.

But he probably won't - he's too tied into the D.C. groupthink for that.

Posted by: ratbert at February 14, 2007 12:47 PM

That's not a problem. By burying his opponents he just shows he's serious about being president.

Posted by: oj at February 14, 2007 6:25 PM