Odd character, Rudy Giuliani. My first memories of him were as with most other people’s, I’d guess — some clean-cut guy who was a district attorney in New York City who made his name busting the mob a few times over. No bad thing, though in my youthful innocence I figured something like, “Okay, that’s done, so crime won’t be a big problem over there much any more.” Pitiful me.
Then he becomes mayor and I mostly shrug. I’m over near Los Angeles, he’s on the other coast, whatever. As time passes and I start to get to know people some more over in New York City and thereabouts, I learn that he’s not entirely loved, to put it mildly. In fact more often than not he sounds like a bit of a prick. Allegedly, however, he cleans up the streets, though it seems that the police force doesn’t exactly exhibit best behavior at all times.
He gets a chance to run against Hilary Clinton for the Senate and it seems that there’s a big ol’ battle royale forming and…he drops out. Turns out he’s a family man in the sense that he doesn’t mind exchanging one family set-up for another, which I’m sure his kids love. Clinton whomps the poo out of her opponent in 2000 and once again in 2006 and somewhere a lot of people growse about this fact to this day, probably.
Then there’s a day in September and the outgoing mayor is the Most Famous and Bestest Mayor and American EVER! for doing things like going on to Saturday Night Live and telling people it was okay to laugh again. We thank you. (We do?) And somewhere along the line he gets the idea that maybe the presidency isn’t that crazy a notion, even when Bernard Kerik’s legal troubles suggest that he’s not much of a guy for looking into pertinent details. (Maybe he busted the mob because they looked at him funny one day.)
This Washington Post story and this New York Times story [EDIT: and this Guardian piece] talk about how all that played out. Me, I shed no tears. I get the severe impression after all this time that this man was ultimately a coaster on reputation, no more or less so than many other people, no more or less so than your typical Presidential candidate, really. But for a while there he had the aura of invulnerability. Honestly, I’m glad to see it shattered.