Reason #953 Why The Giuliani Campaign Is Doomed

Save a little pity for the hardworking folks trying to land Rudy Guiliani a top spot on the Republican ticket. The problem goes well beyond the ridiculously dispositive things that we already know about – Rudy’s intense loyalty to Bernie Kerik and Kerik’s numerous ties to organized crime, his liberal slant on nearly every hotbutton issue, disputes about his behavior on and after 9/11, two ugly divorces, personal character straight out of a Dickens novel. One could argue that most voters still don’t know much more than the “America’s Mayor” title that the major newsweeklies gave him, so in a sense his candidacy can already be counted in the days or weeks it will take his rivals to change that.

Still, even that understates the gravity of Rudy’s problems. The real thing keeping his supporters up at night is the wealth of delicious revelations still percolating just under the surface. Just two examples from the past few days –

* In 1989 Guiliani told a gathering of supporters that the government should fund abortions for poor women who can’t afford to pay. Don’t get me wrong about this, his logic seems perfectly reasonable to me. Somehow I doubt he can count on GOP primary voters to see it the same way.

* Then there’s this:

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Rudolph Giuliani’s law firm lobbies for Citgo Petroleum Corp., a unit of the state-owned oil company controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the U.S.’s chief antagonist in the Western Hemisphere.

Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. The potential self-destructiveness of the Giuliani campaign is almost impossible to put into words.

***

Maybe it will help to analogize. Imagine if a candidate for Vice President headed a firm which sold petroleum infrastructure to Saddam Hussein and nuclear supplies to Iran, defying international sanctions and propping up some of America and Israel’s most intractable enemies. The ticket would be sunk for sure. Right?

As near as I can tell the mystery veep would still be ok if he showed a satisfactory level of ideology purity. The Movement can apparently forgive a lot. Does anybody think that Rudy has that same benefit of the doubt?

***Update***

Speaking of Bernie Kerik.

Kerik was Giuliani’s man. At one time Giuliani’s limo driver, Bernie Kerik (inexplicably) became NYPD commissioner under Giuliani. It was Giuilani’s word that sent Kerik on his ill-fated mission to train the Iraqi police. When Bush tried to nominate Bernie Kerik for Michael Chertoff’s job it was widely understood to be Giuliani calling in his chips.

If you think that George Bush tends to nominate people long on loyalty and short on talent, wait until you see Rudolph Giuilani.






46 replies
  1. 1
    Pb says:

    Imagine if a candidate for Vice President headed a firm which sold petroleum infrastructure to Saddam Hussein and nuclear supplies to Iran, defying international sanctions and propping up some of America and Israel’s most intractable enemies. The ticket would be sunk for sure. Right?

    No, unfortunately, George H. W. Bush won that election.

  2. 2
    jg says:

    His kids hate him because their mom learned of her divorce form him on tv. What else do I need to know about him? If your kids don’t like you why should I?

  3. 3
    pharniel says:

    the vp is there to play to The Base, no one really cares about the VP in the GP.
    which is why dick chenney snuck by, but if it was cheeney/bush then the ticket would have been dead in the water, but bush/cheeny worked out just fine.

  4. 4
    carpeicthus says:

    A conservative with a shred of integrity would not support this guy. No surprise he’s the front-runner.

  5. 5
    kchiker says:

    Republican heads exploding in five-four-three….

  6. 6
    jenniebee says:

    ROFL. Dobson’s all but endorsed the guy – that’s all the ideological purity he needs. Remember in the 2000 primaries, all the members of the base who really, really like Alan Keyes, who knew that on the issues he was the guy most like them, etc, but who voted for Bush because that was the guy who had gotten all the official nods? This is going to be just like that.

    Besides, everything that makes you think the base will reject him, those are all the reasons that (some) moderates will come back to the R’s and support Guliani. Everybody who jumps up and down and calls him a liberal in the primaries – and it will happen – will solidify his support with sceptical R-leaners. They won’t look too closely at what makes him “liberal,” it’ll just be enough to convince them that Rudy will be everything they like about R’s minus everything they don’t like about Bush and the crazy fundies. A platitude or two about “sure it’s been bad the last few years, but I’m sure that if it had been Gore it would have been worse” – and doncha just love generalized, hypothetical comparisons – a debate about making the tax cuts permanent, and a national press that remains skeptical of Democrats all add up to a very competitive Guliani candidacy.

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    As near as I can tell the mystery veep would still be ok if he showed a satisfactory level of ideology purity. The Movement can apparently forgive a lot. Does anybody think that Rudy has that same benefit of the doubt?

    You talk like this is the party of sane and rational thinkers. Like Republicans won’t all fall into the lockstep singing, “We need him to fight the war on terror!” while plugging their ears against his social history. What’s more Mitt Romney and John McCain. Two classic examples of candidates who embraced the wacko wingnut fringe within 8.2 seconds of announcing their runs for candidacy.

    I mean, Bush wasn’t exactly a saint until he lost the Congressional race in ’76. Now he’s one step off from Jesus. Coke-snorting, highball swigging, war-lovin’, black-people hating Jesus… but you take what you can get.

    It’s not like a past has ever hurt a Republican before, so long as he doesn’t have any black illegitimate kids running around behind him.

  8. 8
    Tsulagi says:

    Yeah, Rudy carries a lot of baggage that if the bags were opened a lot of people wouldn’t care to see the contents. However, if he can drown that out from other Pub candidates in the primaries with 9/11, 9/11, leadership in NYC on and after that day, “BTW, did I mention 9/11 enough?”, I see him getting the nomination.

    McCain and Rudy by far have the greatest name recognition. That’s more than half the battle. McCain will have the mainstream party machine behind him going into the primaries, but his problem is that among the candidates he will be the face of the Iraq War. He’s dependent on Bush’s success. Good luck with that.

    The Movement can apparently forgive a lot. Does anybody think that Rudy has that same benefit of the doubt?

    If Rudy gets the Pub nomination? Yes. See Ahnold in Kali for confirmation. Pubs in CT overwhelmingly voting for Lieberman. Ideology is important in politics, but winning is everything.

  9. 9
    Perry Como says:

    Two classic examples of candidates who embraced the wacko wingnut fringe within 8.2 seconds of announcing their runs for candidacy.

    It was 8.3 seconds. How “honest” of you.

  10. 10
    matt says:

    A conservative with a shred of integrity would not support this guy. No surprise he’s the front-runner.

    I know this is what everyone is saying, but I’m not sure it’s fair. If Clinton, Obama and Edwards were anti-choice, anti-gay rights and supported more tax cuts for the wealthy, I don’t think Kucinich would suddenly catapult into top tier of Democratic candidates.

    The way the system works, we’re all kind of stuck with who we’re stuck with. There’s no sense in supporting a losing candidate just so you can keep your ideological street cred. Isn’t that one of the reasons why Dems (correctly imo) are so annoyed with Green Party types? Republicans (so far) are just doing the same thing.

  11. 11
    Andrew says:

    The Movement can apparently forgive a lot.

    The only question that remains, in this regard, is just how gay does a winger have to be for the movement to disown them?

    Gay+meth and gay+porn don’t seem to cut it. I’m thinking gay+meth+porn while dressed up as baby Jesus and topping an Israeli ambassador to a small Central American country.

  12. 12
    Darrell says:

    Besides, everything that makes you think the base will reject him, those are all the reasons that (some) moderates will come back to the R’s and support Guliani. Everybody who jumps up and down and calls him a liberal in the primaries – and it will happen – will solidify his support with sceptical R-leaners. They won’t look too closely at what makes him “liberal,” it’ll just be enough to convince them that Rudy will be everything they like about R’s minus everything they don’t like about Bush and the crazy fundies.

    Impressive analysis jb. I think you’ve nailed it.

  13. 13
    jenniebee says:

    If Clinton, Obama and Edwards were anti-choice, anti-gay rights and supported more tax cuts for the wealthy, I don’t think Kucinich would suddenly catapult into top tier of Democratic candidates.

    No, but the only person talking up Obama would be Dick Cheney, and you’d as sure as hell be hearing a lot of noise about that hot ex-governor of Virginia and future of the Dem party, Mark Warner.

    We all have litmus tests, but it’s time for Dems to wake up and understand that the R base’s litmus tests have nothing at all to do with issues.

  14. 14
    Faux News says:

    Gay+meth and gay+porn don’t seem to cut it. I’m thinking gay+meth+porn while dressed up as baby Jesus and topping an Israeli ambassador to a small Central American country.

    Andrew: Post Of The Day! :-)

  15. 15
    Zifnab says:

    If Clinton, Obama and Edwards were anti-choice, anti-gay rights and supported more tax cuts for the wealthy, I don’t think Kucinich would suddenly catapult into top tier of Democratic candidates.

    But you’d still have Richardson, Dodd, Biden, and the rest of the crowd. And the whole idea behind the nomination process is to nominate someone who will win in the general. An anti-choice, anti-gay rights, more tax cuts Democrat wouldn’t motivate many other Democrats to the polls. That’s what happened in ’00 and ’04 when everyone accused the Dems of just being Republican Lite. That’s why so many Progressives are so sick of the Blue Dog/Lieberman wing of the party. These guys aren’t getting an ounce of support from their “base”.

    And that’s what the ‘Pubs are looking at now, which is why they’re looking dead-in-the-water. Of course, the ‘Pubs are a bit better at rallying their base (or, at least, their base is easier to rouse when all you have to do is change the terror alert level). So they’re not quite as dead as they look.

    Still, if the big 3 flew in the face of liberal values, they wouldn’t be getting the celebrity status they enjoy today.

  16. 16
    The Other Steve says:

    Apparently Rudy’s father was a bag man for the Mob and spent a few years up the river.

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/rudy/rudy.html

    Now one of the things Rudy is supposedly known for is his mob busting while a US Attorney. In light of Harold’s mob ties, as well as Keriks and the others around Rudy… Here’s a question I want to see asked…

    Was rudy busting all the mobs? Or just the competition?

  17. 17
    The Other Steve says:

    We all have litmus tests, but it’s time for Dems to wake up and understand that the R base’s litmus tests have nothing at all to do with issues.

    This is because Republicans understand you don’t pick a candidate on issues, but rather personality.

    Democrats still think issues matter.

  18. 18
    Krista says:

    If you haven’t read Greenwald’s post on Salon, go read it. It might give you a sleepless night or two, though.

  19. 19
    Grrr says:

    Like Kung Fu Monkey said:

    5.) What Guliani’s popularity proves is that the right wing of this country doesn’t really care about so much are religious principles, but a big Daddy figure, the more authoritarian and Daddy-ish the better. Trading Bush in for Guliani is like going from strong-talking but secretly not very competent Daddy to mean smart Daddy who knows how to balance a checkbook.

    Maybe we need to stop looking to the President to be our Daddy. Just saying.

    But actually now it seems they’re all running past Rudy to be the first in line to fluff Fred “The Actor” Thompson.

    Whatever.

  20. 20
    Tsulagi says:

    Gay+meth and gay+porn don’t seem to cut it. I’m thinking gay+meth+porn while dressed up as baby Jesus and topping an Israeli ambassador to a small Central American country.

    Not even then. You could add to that Dr. Dobson aborting Mary Cheney in a Focus on the Family center, and if someone mentioned it, they would whine about the intolerant left.

  21. 21
    ThymeZone says:

    I think it tells you just how fucked the Republicans are that they are putting up “numbers” for Giuliani right now, and luring Fred Thompson out of his dressing room.

    I mean, really, do these people have any clue any more about anything? I think they’d nominate Don Rickles at this point.

  22. 22
    The Other Steve says:

    I mean, really, do these people have any clue any more about anything? I think they’d nominate Don Rickles at this point.

    Clearly, Rodney Dangerfield would be a better choice.

  23. 23
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Clearly, Rodney Dangerfield would be a better choice.

    Well, he would have the best stump speeches and debate performances* of all time, that’s for sure.

    RIP Rodney

    *NOTE: His debate performance may not outdo that of Admiral Stockdale, in which case we will have to restrict the matter to Presidential debates only

  24. 24
    Darrell says:

    ThymeZone Says:

    I think it tells you just how fucked the Republicans are that they are putting up “numbers” for Giuliani right now, and luring Fred Thompson out of his dressing room

    I love it. Dems nominate wet-behind-ears Obama, yet Fred Thomson (former Senator) and Giuliani are “fucked” picks.

    You know you’re an extreme hypocrite when you post what TZ has posted given Hillary and Obama are the Dem leading candidates

  25. 25
    Andrew says:

    Trading Bush in for Guliani is like going from strong-talking but secretly not very competent Daddy to mean smart Daddy who knows how to balance a checkbook.

    A daddy who dresses in drag and lives with his gay “friends”?

  26. 26
    The Other Steve says:

    I love it. Dems nominate wet-behind-ears Obama, yet Fred Thomson (former Senator) and Giuliani are “fucked” picks.

    What is your fascination with actors? Don’t you understand these guys are acting?

  27. 27
    Darrell says:

    We all have litmus tests, but it’s time for Dems to wake up and understand that the R base’s litmus tests have nothing at all to do with issues.

    Just to give you libs a little insight into the “wingnut” mentality, the #1 issue for the typical conservative is the war on terror, and Giuliani, who has experienced and dealth with the devastation of 9/11 first hand (as well as the nonsense of the UN in his backyard), is a superb candidate in that regards. That is a huge issue for most conservatives.

    Rudi’s recent comments about how gun control laws helped clean up NYC show him to be ‘gun stupid’ as hell, but that weakness pales in comparison to his strenghts. So don’t think conservatives don’t care about issues, we do. It’s just that we have to pick from imperfect choices, just like you libs… Unless Fred Thompson runs, who is the closest to perfect that I can think of

  28. 28
    Rome Again says:

    Just to give you libs a little insight into the “wingnut” mentality, the #1 issue for the typical conservative is the war on terror an ideology (a war that can’t be won!)

    Fixed!

  29. 29
    ThymeZone says:

    When Darrell or any “conservative” can describe to me what a “war on terror” actually is, how it’s fought, how success is measured, how gains are made or ground is lost, what strategies can be built around the idea, what policies are in place which express these ideas and represent these models, or what examples might exist in history to support the assertions …. then I’ll believe it. In two years of asking for this here, I have not seen a single sentence written in response to it by any of the grand legions of “conservatives” or their wannabees so far. Not one. Not one attempt.

    “War on terror” must taken to be just another rightwing lie, a sharp stick up the ass of America like everything else they supposedly believe in, until somebody steps up and draws a picture of the sacred cow thing that they talk about all the fucking time.

    Describe it. Define it. Explain it. Create a story or a vision of the future around it.

    Endless and useless war on hapless foreigners who have nothing to do with “terror”, war without end, war without a clue, war that doesn’t even have an end game, not acceptable. That’s why Americans are running away from the clusterfuck and are not going to come back.

    This thread has been up all day and has 28 posts.

    This blog is going to head for the boneyard unless somebody has enough sense to realize that it’s no longer 2004 and gets rid of the fucking useless pests that have been here all that time and do nothing but harass people.

    “War on terror?” Give us a fucking break. That’s about as convincing as “Save Terri Sciavo” at this point.

  30. 30
    Cat Travis says:

    “It would have been worse with Al Gore.”
    Give me a break! Are you people brain dead? I can’t believe it. Bush will indeed go down in history as one of the most inept presidents ever. But Al Gore would have been worse? There is absolutely no sense in that statement what so ever. We might as well just nuke ourselves. It’s like saying McGovern would have been worse than Nixon. This nation deserves destruction if people think George Bush was the lesser of two evils.

  31. 31
    just sayin says:

    When that list of embarrassments is pulled out, let’s add the attempt to get his term as Mayor extended because only he could lead NYC. If there’s one thing Americans don’t like, it’s a politician who won’t leave.

  32. 32
    The Other Steve says:

    Just to give you libs a little insight into the “wingnut” mentality, the #1 issue for the typical conservative is the war on terror, and Giuliani, who has experienced and dealth with the devastation of 9/11 first hand (as well as the nonsense of the UN in his backyard), is a superb candidate in that regards.

    Well, Darrell does have a point.

    The #1 issue is the disaster that is Iraq, and Giuliani does have experience dealing with disasters.

    Under President Giuliani, he will stand resolute and steadfast as he pulls the men out, and when they yell ‘We can’t leave now, we’ve left our dead comrades behind’ he will have them all arrested.

    What this has to do with diplomacy and fighting a war, I really don’t know. But then the typical wingnut things GW Bush is a war leader, so their perception is a bit skewed.

  33. 33
    The Other Steve says:

    That’s about as convincing as “Save Terri Sciavo” at this point.

    What ever did happen to the War against Terri Schiavo the Republicans were prepared to fight?

    Why’d they abandon it if it was so important to them?

  34. 34
    The Other Steve says:

    Unless Fred Thompson runs, who is the closest to perfect that I can think of

    Fred Thompson would be absolutely perfect because he has experience commanding the USS Enterprise back when it was hunting down the Red October.

  35. 35
    ThymeZone says:

    Fred Thompson reminds me of a timeshare salesman.

    Very convincing. Very …. strong.

    The man can recite any fucked up talking points and make them sound …. like your good uncle would make them sound.

  36. 36
    Richard W. Crews says:

    Guiliani only looked good next to bush’s disgusting display. Bush was struck dumb on a stool, then hid down a bunnyhole. Giuliani put his disaster headquarters at the disaster, and when it fell down, he had nowhere to go! So he wandered around, looking good.

  37. 37
    Zifnab says:

    Giuliani put his disaster headquarters at the disaster, and when it fell down, he had nowhere to go! So he wandered around, looking good.

    Strong. Smrt.

    Seriously, though, there’s a minor question of money. Guilianni, McCain, and Romney have it. The rest don’t. That’s pretty much the whole story.

    Biden and Dodd and Richardson are at least likely dark-horse candidates because they have powerful avenues of funding. But Thompson? Duncan Hunter? Tom Tancredo? Give me a break. They’ll be running their campaigns out of the back of pick-up trucks. I’d lay down more money on Michael Savage picking up the nomination than these bums.

  38. 38
    jenniebee says:

    Well, if Darrell’s right, he and his ilk are just giving the party that depends on their votes a motivation to make sure that the War on Terra never ends. We could have declared victory and skedaddled out of both Afghanistan and Iraq at any one of a thousand points over the last five years, we could have devoted our energies to methods that really work to deal with terrorist organizations any time we wanted to. Instead, we give radical Islam exactly what it wants – a high profile struggle against the infidel (which just so happens to be exactly what the Fundies in this country want because peace in the middle east = teh antichrist, oh noes! I mean, Yay Rapture! I mean, oh noes! I mean… SUCK IT LIBERAL ATHIEST SLUTS!!!)

    So we’re now in the business of handing the people who actually didn’t have an easy time of convincing their neighbors that the US was the enemy before Iraq got started a big ol’ opportunity to say “I told you so,” great recruiting tool, that. We have seen, year by year of the Iraq war, the enemy grow more numerous and more bold, stronger by every conceiveable measure, while we wear out our army against their growing strength.

    Republicans reap the rewards of this state of events – they show their constituencies an entrenched enemy, the constituency says “zomg!!! Launch frontal assaults!” and the Republicans comply. It’s a big show with blessed little risk of actually eliminating the enemy that does so much to keep their constituents in a lather – all rather amusing if it wasn’t that real human lives are being expended in the process.

    Can’t get Henry V, Act IV out of my head these days:

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all ‘We died at such a place;’ some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection.

  39. 39
    The Other Steve says:

    Seriously, though, there’s a minor question of money. Guilianni, McCain, and Romney have it. The rest don’t. That’s pretty much the whole story.

    Why?

    Because some fucked up moron idiot decided that it’d be a really good idea to frontload the primaries so we knew who the candidate was in march, instead of having to wait until the convention and you know, actually make people pay attention to the convention.

  40. 40
    Zifnab says:

    Because some fucked up moron idiot decided that it’d be a really good idea to frontload the primaries so we knew who the candidate was in march, instead of having to wait until the convention and you know, actually make people pay attention to the convention.

    Hey, I never said it was a good system. I’m just saying that its the system we live in and its the reason why Thompson et al are just conservative wet-dreams, with no basis in reality.

    You need money to run for President. This year, you’ll need money by the metric ton. It would be great if I could vote with my ballot and not with my wallet, but someone said something bad about publicly financed elections and ever since we’ve been governed by the plutocracy, like it or not.

  41. 41
    Pb says:

    So… if there were a faux terrorist attack against a (Democratic, natch) Presidential candidate’s campaign headquarters, and no one noticed, would it make a sound?

  42. 42
    Andrew says:

    Funny, I was watching 300 across the street from Edwards’ HQ a few days ago.

  43. 43
    Pb says:

    Funny, I was watching 300 across the street from Edwards’ HQ a few days ago.

    Over at the Lumina? I’m closer to the Durham Wynnsong, myself.

  44. 44
    Tom in Texas says:

    So… if there were a faux terrorist attack against a (Democratic, natch) Presidential candidate’s campaign headquarters, and no one noticed, would it make a sound?

    Until I clicked on the link, I assumed you were referring to the Second Life thing.

  45. 45
    yet another jeff says:

    It’s simple, really…if Rudy gets the nomination, it will be for the same reason John Kerry did. The base believes that he’s “electable”.

  46. 46
    Darrell says:

    jenniebee Says:

    Well, if Darrell’s right, he and his ilk are just giving the party that depends on their votes a motivation to make sure that the War on Terra never ends. We could have declared victory and skedaddled out of both Afghanistan and Iraq at any one of a thousand points over the last five years, we could have devoted our energies to methods that really work to deal with terrorist organizations any time we wanted to.

    Ah yes, abandon Iraq AND Afghanistan in pursuit of unexplained terrorist fighting strategies that “really work” (magic fairy dust?). I think that is wonderful and so brilliant jb. But tell us, what’s behind this next outburst?

    Instead, we give radical Islam exactly what it wants – a high profile struggle against the infidel (which just so happens to be exactly what the Fundies in this country want because peace in the middle east = teh antichrist, oh noes! I mean, Yay Rapture! I mean, oh noes! I mean… SUCK IT LIBERAL ATHIEST SLUTS

    Presumably, anytime an “infidel” dares fight back, it “incites” the otherwise peace loving islamofascists. How much does the infidel incite them? jb tells us again:

    the enemy grow more numerous and more bold, stronger by every conceiveable measure, while we wear out our army against their growing strength.

    Sounds like a hopeless struggle. I just ask that all you libs who share these views – shout them to the rooftops. Tell all your friends and neighbors about it, the louder the better. Because more people need to know how whacked the left in the country truly is.

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