As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rudy Appearance Fights, Loses Battle With Rudy Reality

In a surface primary election featuring one cardboard cut-out candidate against other cardboard cut-out candidates, Rudy Giuliani may look slightly more three-dimensional than the others. But go just an inch past that surface and there are some troubling realities. Time Magazine, which lauded the former NYC Mayor in late 2001, has actually looked into the matter now and found the truth more uncertain:

Before 9/11, Giuliani spent eight years presiding over a city that was a known terrorist target. A TIME investigation into what he did — and didn't do — to prepare for a major catastrophe is revealing. In addition to extraordinary grace under fire, Giuliani developed an intimate knowledge of emergency management and an affinity for quantifiable results. On 9/11, he earned the trust of most Americans; one year later, 78% of those surveyed by the Marist Institute had a favorable impression of Giuliani. This magazine also named Giuliani its Person of the Year in 2001. Assuming he can keep it, trust is a priceless resource in psychological warfare.

The evidence also shows great, gaping weaknesses. Giuliani's penchant for secrecy, his tendency to value loyalty over merit and his hyperbolic rhetoric are exactly the kinds of instincts that counterterrorism experts say the U.S. can least afford right now.

Giuliani's limitations are in fact remarkably similar to those of another man who has led the nation into a war without end. Some of the Bush Administration's policies, like improved intelligence sharing between countries and our own agencies, have made the U.S. better at fighting terrorism. But others, from the war in Iraq to the treatment of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, have actually made the task much more difficult. The challenge for the next President will be focusing on and adapting the good tools and jettisoning the bad. Whether you conclude Giuliani can win this war depends ultimately on whether you think we are winning now.

And we all know how many Americans think we're just peachy these days. That whole article is worth reading.

Giuliani's economic policy is similarly negative, once you actually take a look at it and you understand that the surplus he was touting can only be seen that way if you were holding the chart upside down.

Rudolph W. Giuliani has been broadcasting radio advertisements in Iowa and other states far from the city he once led stating that as mayor of New York, he “turned a $2.3 billion deficit into a multibillion dollar surplus.”

The assertion, which Mr. Giuliani has repeated on the trail as he has promoted his fiscal conservatism, is somewhat misleading, independent fiscal monitors said. In fact, Mr. Giuliani left his successor, Michael R. Bloomberg, with a bigger deficit than the one Mr. Giuliani had to deal with when he arrived in 1994. And that deficit would have been large even if the city had not been attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

“He inherited a gap, and he left a gap for his successor,” Ronnie Lowenstein, the director of the city’s Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency that monitors the city budget, said of Mr. Giuliani. “The city was budgeting as though the good times were not going to end, but sooner or later they always do.”

With realities like these, it's no wonder that Rudy has hired the media team behind the racist anti-Harold Ford ads. He's going to need some slash-and-burn politics to distract from the awful record.

Labels: , , , ,