Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Lizza’

Giuliani vs. Christie: Two GOP politicians from the Northeast have lots in common

April 11, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
April 11, 2014

In 2007, when I was working as a newspaper reporter in a small North Carolina town, my editor asked me if I was excited that Rudy Giuliani, a fellow New Yorker, might become president. I scoffed.

There were two reasons for this. One was that I thought Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, would never be able to win the Republican nomination. The other was that I thought Giuliani was temperamentally ill-suited to serve as president.

Giuliani became known as America’s mayor for his performance on Sept. 11, 2001, when he provided a calm and steadying voice even as President George W. Bush temporarily disappeared from view. A former U.S. attorney who had successfully prosecuted mafiosi, Giuliani was a Republican who presided over one of the nation’s most Democratic cities. His mayoralty coincided with — and, to be fair, helped prompt — the renaissance of the Big Apple. Unemployment in the city dropped nearly 40 percent during the 1990s; in the same period, assault also fell 40 percent, and rates of murder, robbery, car theft and burglary all dropped by 66 percent to 73 percent.

That’s all well and good, although it remains an open question just how much Giuliani’s leadership had to do with those declines. But while these positives were well-publicized, fewer Americans outside of the New York-New Jersey area were acquainted with the mayor’s negatives. In mid-2000, upon separating from his second wife, Giuliani moved out of Gracie Mansion and into the apartment of a gay couple. He had a penchant for dressing up in drag. Giuliani was essentially moderate — which is to say, liberal, at least in the context of the post–Bush-the-younger Republican Party — on issues such as gay rights, abortion, gun control and immigration. Giuliani’s family situation — by 2007, he was largely estranged from his children, and he was on his third marriage — was no help. One particularly damning episode involved his announcement to the press of his aforementioned separation from his second wife, which preceded the mayor’s actually informing said wife of their split.

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