August 17, 2007


For Giuliani, Ground Zero as Linchpin and Thorn (RUSS BUETTNER, 8/17/07, NY Times)

As Rudolph W. Giuliani campaigns around the country highlighting his stewardship of New York City after the Sept. 11 attacks, he is widely hailed for bringing order to a traumatized city. But he has also raised the hackles of rescue and recovery workers by likening his experience to theirs.

On at least three occasions, in responding to accusations that the city failed to adequately protect the health of workers in the wreckage, he has boasted that he faced comparable risks himself. In one appearance he declared that he had been in the ruins “as often, if not more” than the cleanup workers who logged hundreds of hours in the smoldering pile.

Another time he brushed aside safety claims by asserting that his long hours at the site had left him susceptible to “every health consequence that people have suffered.”

So, how much time did Mayor Giuliani spend at ground zero?

A complete record of Mr. Giuliani’s exposure to the site is not available for the chaotic six days after the attack, when he was a frequent visitor. But an exhaustively detailed account from his mayoral archive, revised after the events to account for last-minute changes on scheduled stops, does exist for the period of Sept. 17 to Dec. 16, 2001. It shows he was there for a total of 29 hours in those three months, often for short periods or to visit locations adjacent to the rubble. In that same period, many rescue and recovery workers put in daily 12-hour shifts.

By September he'll have helped take back Flight 93 from the terrorists....

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 17, 2007 12:24 PM

oj: Dude. We know Rudy has serious flaws. We know McCain is your guy. But what the heck is with your going all Ahab on Rudy since yesterday? The media cannot change the fact that people like Rudy. Cannot. People already like him because of 9/11, and as I've said many, many times the media's power to change opinions is quite limited--what they can do is heavily influence people in forming their opinions, which is a major reason why Mitt has no chance. Similarly, the media is not going to be able to make people like Hillary.

Look, I wish McCain had shown some more sense a couple of months ago and avoided the immigration issue like the plague. He made the idiotic choice to take the lead on an issue on which the party base and the nation as a whole were not on his side, and utterly destroyed his campaign. He was trying to act like a president when he's still just a senator. What he should have been doing was playing prevent defense. Getting the nomination is all that matters, since with his military background, credibility with independents (thanks, Bush-hating MSM!), and social conservatism he would have mopped the floor with Hillary. Instead we're going to get Rudy, who also is popular with independents, but whose only other plus relative to McCain (and it's a big one) is lots of executive experience, but who has lots of negatives (no military cred, not a social conservative, and much more personal baggage).

A Hillary vs. Rudy campaign is going to be horrifyingly dirty, and even worse it's going to be about 10 months long. For the CA special election a couple of years back there were attack ads on beginning in the spring, so that the electorate was completely sick of politics by the time November came around. The problem is that in a presidential election you can't vote 'No' like you can for referenda.

Posted by: b at August 17, 2007 1:40 PM


I just post the stories as I find them. The spate of negatives on Rudy are a function of his sinking candidacy. There's blood in the water and the sharks all want a hunk.

Sure, they're late figuring out he has no shot, but not too late to feed.

Posted by: oj at August 17, 2007 2:43 PM

"The spate of negatives on Rudy are a function of his sinking candidacy."

What color is the sky in your world? The negative stories on Rudy are a function of his being the front-runner. Nobody writes stories about Tommy Thompson, Ron Paul, etc.

Posted by: b at August 17, 2007 2:50 PM

30 hours in 3 months seems about right. He had funerals to go to, lots of them, and he had 8 million people to 'serve'.

This doesn't rise at all to the level of Kerry's fabulism, Clinton's self-proclaimed exertions, or Nixon's (and Johnson's) chest-beating pronouncements of toughness.

The media hates Rudy because he understands them properly and fires back. He's not perfect, but nobody is. Bush needed some Rudy in him to deal with Congress (especially the GOP leadership from Nov. 2004 through Nov. 2006), and he was lacking.

b is right - if the media were "fair", we'd already have seen the rehash of Whitewater, the billing records, the David Rosen trial, the travel office firings, and all the rest. Rudy and Fred are getting slammed by the MSM because they are the leading GOP candidates. Nobody is attacking Duncan Hunter, although he is arguably the most 'movement' conservative in the race.

Posted by: ratbert at August 17, 2007 4:47 PM

The fabulism is identical. You excuse it for partisan reasons.

Posted by: oj at August 17, 2007 6:43 PM

A decline from .6% to .55% isn't news. The implosion of a "front-runner" is. Even if they invented his status in the first place. A meadia creature dies by the media.

Posted by: oj at August 17, 2007 6:45 PM

I suspect by October we will be hearing that Hillary is the next colossus in American politics, eclipsing even Ronald Reagan. Is OJ about to go Arianna on us?

Rudy's numbers have risen in many states, including NH, FL. and SC. Mitt has the edge right now, because he looks to win IA and a win in NH gives him the momentum. McCain is licking his wounds, waiting. He may revive, he may not.

BTW - I would be mildly surprised if the NYT is quoting Rudy exactly. This could be a perfect example of their 'hatred'. We already know how the fire-fighters feel (at least, the union leadership).

I wish John Cornyn were running. But he isn't.

Posted by: ratbert at August 17, 2007 7:27 PM

Rudy is non-competitive in IA, NH and SC--he's not a serious candidate for the GOP nomination.

Bill was a better president than GHW Bush. Hillary would be better than Rudy. McCain is the next president though.

Posted by: oj at August 17, 2007 8:41 PM

I'm not sure what you're looking at, but Giuliani is second to Romney in Iowa and NH and first in SC.

On what metric was Clinton better than GHWB? Bush scored an own-goal by nominating Souter, but he also put Thomas on the court. Clinton's picks are as good as we're going to get from a Democrat, but not actually good picks.

Posted by: Ibid at August 18, 2007 2:42 PM

OJ only considers the polls in his head. Perhaps he asks a neighbor or two from Hanover.

Rudy is not perfect - we've known for years that he has problems. But, given the current choices, he might be the best nominee.

There is zero evidence that McCain would run better against Hillary - and if his 'hero' status is all that counts, then he'll have to run on the war, something OJ has been counseling the GOP against for 3 years.

The Republicans are going to have that media-driven 15 point deficit in their faces in 2008, and we haven't seen the fastballs yet. A GOP candidate who can't make up that gap (which I doubt of Romney and maybe even Fred) has no business running. McCain needs some of Rudy's snarl, directed towards the Democrats and the media. He won't win any independent votes by being "Mr. Senator". He certainly isn't going to win GOP primary votes by being an insider (and an insulter).

It's a strange season - both parties are likely to nominate candidates whom parts of their bases despise. And yet, neither party can win without a committed vote from the base, because if they spend all their time wooing the mythical moderates, they will be sowing the seeds of indifference.

It would be one thing if Hillary could be painted as McGovern and the Republicans could win 60% of the vote. But she isn't that dumb (although she could always pick Obama).

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 18, 2007 6:29 PM

He's not even going to run in IA, if at all.

Posted by: oj at August 18, 2007 7:44 PM

The GOP never chooses the guy who'd run better, which is why W beat McCain.

Posted by: oj at August 18, 2007 9:15 PM

In 2000, McCain claimed that he would 'beat Al Gore like a drum'.

Gore probably would have buried him. You think the SC GOP trashed McCain? The Dems would have been much worse, and could have kept the high ground in the process. Bush confounded them because he showed dignity in all three debates, something Gore is incapable of. McCain could not have done the same - he would have either snarled or engaged Al in a condescension death match.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 19, 2007 12:08 PM

McCain would have won easily, unlike W who lost, both because he appeals to independents generically and because blacks and Jews in particular don't hate him.

The GOP went with the guy less likely to win but whose turn it was.

Posted by: oj at August 19, 2007 2:22 PM