By Albert Samaha
By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
The public may continue to buy this P.T. Barnum routine for a while, or even for a lifetime. It demonstrates how rabidly, and gullibly, the American voter longs for heroes in this plastic age of image spinners.
The real Giuliani is a fallible human being like the rest of usnot a saint. And he isnt a Mister Rogers man of the people. He doesnt relate to those who have fallen and who need a hand up. He never admits mistakes. He never apologizes to people he has wronged. He was a crisis mayor, near-brilliant in convulsive events, such as terrorist attacks. He was George Patton, a man with an iron grip on command and a certainty of his rightness. But running a country or a city is not like running an army in wartime. Wars are irrational, diseased events. Giuliani has never shown us that he is not only a can-do general, but also a thoughtful man who respects others ideas. He is not Dwight Eisenhower or George Marshall or Omar Bradley. In victory, he has not shown any instinct to repair the damage he has done to his opponents.
Let us take one last reality check on Giulianis resume.
Perhaps you remember the sunny day in September 1992, when Giuliani, campaigning for the mayors job, was the principal speaker at a booze-fueled protest by 10,000 off-duty cops and their supporters at City Hall. The police were angry at the first African-American mayor of New York, David Dinkinsin particular his proposal to create an independent, all-civilian review board to examine citizen complaints about police rudeness and rough behavior. The word "nigger" was heard loudly several times from the crowd. A number of protest signs called Dinkins a "washroom attendant." Giuliani in his remarks at the protest, which was organized by the police union, whipped the crowd to even fiercer heights by reciting a list of Dinkins policies and, after each one, starting a chant of "Bullshit! Bullshit!" About 1,500 of the demonstrators eventually stormed onto the Brooklyn Bridge and tied up traffic there for an hour. The press recorded all this loveliness.
Giuliani loyalists say the former mayor has matured since then. Has he changed? I dont know. People dont usually change their nature at the age of 59. All one can really say with certainty is that we do him no favors by seeing only part of him and not the whole man.
Research assistance: Michael K. Anstendig