Florida Showdown

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

Rudy thinks he’s going to win today.

How very very sad.

UPDATE:  I guess I should say a little more, as Rudy Giuliani is the only candidate that I’ve met (several times) personally.  This was all back in the late 1980’s, before he was mayor.  Back then, he was the U.S. District Attorney in New York.  I was a law clerk in a criminal defense law firm.  Despite being on opposite ends of the criminal justice system, Rudy and my boss, Barry Slotnick, had a professional friendship, and there were many times when Rudy would show up in the office after-hours.  (The two of them served together on various boards and civic organizations).  It was at that time that I came to "know" Rudy, to the extent that it afforded me special insight.

Barry and Rudy were cut from the same cloth.  Both of them possessed a quality of shameless self-promotion.  In Barry — who was, is, and always will be the pinnacle of self-promotion in my book — I found that quality to be slightly irritating; "irritating", that is, until I realized how much it generated business for the boutique firm which kept me gainfully employed.  After that, I had a begrudging respect for it (and smiled silently to myself when others called him a "media whore").

With Giuliani though, I really found his self-aggrandizement kind of creepy.  He was a public servant, appointed to his position of U.S. District Attorney.  He didn’t have to run for anything, and unlike Barry, he didn’t have to generate business.  So where did that pompousity come from?  A character flaw, I took it.

I guess it served him well in later years, when he did run for mayor, although I don’t know many New Yorkers (Barry excepted) who were too fond of him and his tactics at the time.

And when 9/11 rolled around, well, I had long since abandoned the city for greener pastures.  And seeing Rudy on TV back then — well, I can’t believe he’s been running on the basis of his performance on the day of, and the days immediately following, 9/11. 

I mean, what did he do exactly?  He gave press conferences.  Sometimes they were in the street (but that was only because he couldn’t go to the Emergency Command Center, having made the brilliant decision of putting it in the World Trade Center, after it had already been the target of the 1993 terrorist attack!).  And what did he say in those conferences?  Well, he praised the police and fire fighters a lot.  Really, that’s what he did.

Well, what would YOU do?  Exactly the same thing, I expect.  Does this qualify you to be president?

The one thing that struck me about Rudy Giuliani is this: he’s not very smart.  He’s really not.  And his campaign strategy, which I believe was his idea as much as his advisor’s, proves that.

The man is political toast now.  Time to join the lecture circuit, Rudy.