Yesterday, Giuliani waved off the growing perception that, during the heady early days of his courtship with Judith Nathan, he misused taxpayer dollars by billing treks to Southampton to obscure city agencies. "This story is five years old," he told Katie Couric last night. "It’s a typical political hit job." At the least, Mitt Romney, who has been criticizing Giuliani's fiscal policies, is chuckling. Since Politico broke the story on Wednesday, Rudes has been shamed by former mayors David Dinkins and Ed Koch as well as current mayor Mike Bloomberg: ("We use credit cards, but not for that," Bloomberg's spokesman said.) Said comments caused Giuliani's deputy mayor Joe Lhota to sheepishly retract an earlier statement that this kind of accounting has "gone on for years," and predated his boss. "I should only talk about what I know about," he said. Some have come to Giuliani's defense, like Fran Reiter, his former deputy mayor who now works for Hillary Clinton, who said that while Rudes's bookkeeping methods were wonky, his expenses were ultimately legit. "The only political issue is any potential embarrassment because he was going out to Long Island to meet with Judith." Well, yeah. Today, the Times piles on with a story about how the statistics Rudes uses in campaign speeches are usually "incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong." Such as one he used in Wednesday's Republican debate: “Under me, spending went down by 7 percent.” (An aide told the Times what he meant to say was that he had proposed a 7 percent reduction in per-capita spending.) They also weigh in on the scandal, running a picture of the motel in which Rudy's security stayed while presumably waiting for the boss to emerge from his cocoon of SeniorSex and concluding with an excellent quote from voice of truth and reason Bernie Kerik:
“There would be no need for anyone to conceal his detail’s travel expenses,” said Mr. Kerik, who was indicted earlier this month on unrelated federal tax fraud and corruption charges. “And I think it’s ridiculous for anyone to suggest that the mayor or his staff attempted to do so.”
We’re not huge fans of the trope that follows Elizabeth Kucinich around. (You know: “Dennis doesn’t need poll numbers — he already won”). It’s flippant and ever-so-slightly swinish. That said, yesterday Mrs. Kucinich spoke at the same breast-cancer summit as Judith Giuliani, and you know what? Screw it: Dennis already won. Elizabeth (a) showed up in a stylish pink coat hinting at, but not aping, the breast-cancer ribbon color, (b) spoke knowledgeably and off-the-cuff about the British health-care system, and (c) stuck around to chat.
Rudy Giuliani and Judi were doing more of their Honeymooners shtick yesterday up in Nashua, New Hampshire, where Rudy was stumping. The Daily News says Judi was "a constant by his side," by which they clearly meant "was a constant pain in his tuchis." The key moment came when someone asked the mayor if the much-maligned phone call he took from Wifey #3 during his speech to the NRA a few weeks ago was staged.
"Judith and I…" started Giuliani.
"Can I take that?" interjected Judi.
Giuliani headed her off with a squeeze of her shoulders.
After all the lengthy stories we’ve read about Rudy Giuliani in the Times lately, we felt they had us pretty well versed in his flaws. But now the Caucus blog has revealed a new side to the man who would be president: He's an unapologetic cell-phone menace. During his speech to members of the NRA this morning, Rudy took a call from none other than Mrs. Schmoopy. “Hello dear. I’m talking to the members of the NRA right now,” he said, according to reporter Michael Falcone. “Would you like to say hello? I’ll give you a call as soon as I’m done. Have a safe trip. Bye-bye.” Cute! Except not really. The Times notes this is not the first time Giuliani has answered his phone during a campaign speech — he did it back in June, in Hialeah, Florida — and indicates that the NRA members did not seem amused. No doubt this had something to do with the personalized ringtone Rudes has for Judi, which we have heard is a remix of Sisqo’s “Thong Song.”
Giuliani: Excuse Me While I Take This Call [NYT]
David Chase is "heartbroken" that James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, et al didn't win Emmy; Bill Maher isn't sad he lost for the nineteenth time. Naomi Campbell told the Blacks in Fashion panel last week that she's repeatedly been refused the cover of British Vogue, despite the fact that she's posed eight times. Rosie O'Donnell declined to hawk her book on Oprah, instead opting for a Diane Sawyer interview. Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie drop off and pick up Maddox at the Upper East Side's Lycée Français themselves. Marilyn Manson didn't carry girlfriend Rachel Evan Woods's luggage as the two strode through JFK. Judith Giuliani went shopping for Manolos at Bergdorf Goodman. Michael Jackson is allegedly holed up in a fancy midtown hotel and has left only once to take part in a photo shoot.
The notoriously protective Judi Giuliani's hackles were raised at Tuesday’s 9/11 ceremony, when her lovemunchkin, Rudy, was heckled by members of the crowd for...oh, we dunno, perhaps his relentless milking of tragedy for personal gain? "Rudy kind of took it and just kept walking," a witness told the Daily News of the meanies' taunts. “But [Judi] turned on them and started saying ‘How dare you!’" Interesting! We're not going say we endorse the Giuliani candidacy, but wouldn't it be kind of cool to have a First Lady who wouldn't hesitate to cut a bitch?
Tales From the Pit [The Street]
We've been reading a lot about Rudy Giuliani lately. There was that Voice piece yesterday on why his kids are right to hate him. There's the New Yorker profile we finally got around to reading last night (and which seemed only to provide a Steinbergian New Yorker's View of Rudy to the rest of the country — was there anything in it, other than that his father, in addition to being a small-time gangster, was also a mean disciplinarian, that you didn't already know?). And there's the Harper's cover we've been looking at on our coffee table for a week or so now, though we can't quite bring ourselves to crack it.
The Giuliani women are these days causing the old man nothing but trouble. Yesterday, the Times published that front-page profile of Judi, arranged by the former mayor in an attempt to clean up her image after some recent unflattering coverage (like, say, here) that instead provided the paper of record a chance to rehearse all those previously reported embarrassing details — alongside an unsettlingly busty picture of Mrs. G. But today it gets even worse. America's Mayor's daughter, Caroline, who, like her brother, enjoys a publicly strained relationship with her presidential- hopeful pop, was revealed by Slate this morning to be — horror of horrors! — a Barack Obama supporter. The recent high-school grad had publicly listed "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)" as one of her membership groups on her Facebook page; by this morning the listing had been removed. Honest mistake? Maybe. But she starts at Harvard in the fall, and we have a funny feeling she knows what she's doing.
Daddy Dearest [Slate]
Drawing Fire, Judith Giuliani Gives Her Side [NYT]
Related:The Thunderbolt [NYM]
Is Judy Bachrach's Vanity Fair profile of Judi Giuliani a brutal hatchet job painting Mrs. America's Mayor as an "opportunistic, puppy-killing homewrecker," as Page Six would have us believe? After slogging through the story's 6,440 words (Graydon, forests are finite! What will the NRDC say?), we're prepared to say: Uh, yeah, kinda.
Rudy Giuliani is supporting Hillary Clinton — at least in her mini-feud with Barack Obama over whether the two Democratic presidential candidates would meet with the leaders of hostile foreign countries. (Obama said he would; Clinton said she'd be reluctant.) "I’d say don’t count on Fidel Castro being invited to the White House if I’m president," Giuliani told us at the Super Saturday shopping benefit for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund over the weekend. "As I understood [Obama's] statement, he’s either going to invite to Washington or meet somewhere else the head of Cuba, who would be Castro, and the head of Iran, who is Ahmadinejad. That’s quite a crew. I don’t know that I would want to meet with them. Some people you just don’t meet with if they’re going to use that to propagate their own propaganda. I thought Hillary Clinton was on the right side of that." Giuliani was at the Water Mill event with his wife, Judi, who he said was the shopper in the family. "I shop for limited items: golf clubs, books," he said. Fashion is his wife's department. "She tells me if the colors work or the shirt looks nice," he explained. So do the colors work, Judi? "He doesn’t make any mistakes," she said, campaigningly. "He’s Rudy Giuliani!" —Jada Yuan
Kelly Ripa, Donna Karan and Mandy Moore were also at Super Saturday. For complete pictures and quotes, read Party Lines.
Vanity Fair's forthcoming takedown of Judi Giuliani paints her as "opportunistic, puppy-killing homewrecker." ABC News employees were reminded not to surf for porn on company time after it was discovered that an intern had nude photos online. Married cosmetics heir William Lauder may be the illegitimate father of a child with nightlife honcho Howard Stein's daughter. Mets pitchers John Maine and Aaron Heilman partied at the Hawaiian Tropic Zone. New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane might not technically be married to the mother of his two children, journalist Allison Pearson. Penélope Cruz and Bono were spotted holding hands in St. Tropez. Star Jones claims women on TV get a raw financial deal. Rachael Ray and Ron Jeremy were in Saratoga for the opening of the racetrack.
During a recent photo shoot for OK!, Britney Spears fondled herself, peed in public, and walked away with $21,267 in clothing. Jay-Z is considering jumping from Island Def Jam to Columbia Records, perhaps because Jermaine Dupri was named president of Island's urban music division. A lot of coarse language will have to be edited out of the roast of Flavor Flav when it's aired on Comedy Central. Lauren Bacall can't find herself a man who isn't already married. Judi Giuliani hosted a fund-raising cocktail party at the Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park. Tom Brady and Donald Trump played golf at Trump's club in Westchester. Scary Spice is starting to hint at "troubling aspects" of ex-husband Eddie Murphy's lifestyle, but she hasn't specific. An upcoming book on personal hygiene portrays the French as rather smelly.
The wife and son of deceased National Enquirer founder Generoso Pope Jr. are suing each other for the remainder of his $418 million fortune. Barbaro was the focus groups' choice for August's Vanity Fair cover, but Graydon Carter nixed him for Shia LaBeouf. CNBC's Maria Bartiromo will soon have her own show titled Money Honey. The Giulianis like golf, bargains, The Tudors. Chris Noth tried to poach talent for his club from Hawaiian Tropic Zone but failed. Tinsley Mortimer and Lydia Hearst are attending a dinner thrown by Pete Wentz in the Hamptons. Jon Anderson of Yes canceled a benefit show for a bunch of kids because his spiritual adviser told him to.
Donald Trump tried to reignite his feud with Rose O'Donnell by sending Barbara Walters a giant framed bustier that O'Donnell wore in Exit to Eden. Usher's fiancée may be pregnant, and it may not be Usher's child. Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun had quite the send-off Tuesday at Jazz at Lincoln Center. A man is claiming to be Larry Birkhead's former gay lover. Seagrams heir Matthew Bronfman unveils his Ikon condo complex in Williamsburg tonight. The father of deceased singer and socialite Kitty Carlisle Hart knew Abraham Lincoln. Nick Lachey is still sensitive about his divorce from Jessica Simpson. A lot of American films will screen at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Ryan Gosling won't say whether his relationship with Rachel McAdams is over. Snoop Dogg's love of video games and weed caused a chain reaction of snafus at the Pussycat Dolls' UNICEF benefit at Cipriani Wall Street.
Among the skits to be put on by the city's political journos at the upcoming Inner Circle roast is one featuring Judi Giuliani as a blow-up sex doll. Us Weekly, Star, and other weekly tabloids are upping their negative coverage of Brangelina because they are sick of getting scooped by People. A handful of people are angling for a portion of deceased Dr. Robert Atkins's $600 million estate. Mike Bloomberg's 98-year-old mother sometimes pretends she's not related to him so people don't ask her to hook their grandkids up with jobs. NBC's Today show is losing serious ground to ABC's Good Morning America and even CBS's Early Show in the ratings game. Charlie Rose and Amanda Burden may not be broken up, despite reports they are. Jay-Z has plans to ink a deal with Champagne label Ace of Spades to replace Cristal as his drink of choice.
• The state budget is here — virtually on time! — and guess what provision made it in while everyone was busy arguing about hospital cuts? A program that makes 400,000 uninsured children eligible for near-free health care. [NYT]
• Hillary Clinton set a record for pre-primary fund-raising, drumming up $26 million in the first three months of 2007. Her war chest now totals $36 million, with ten left over from the layup Senate campaign. Obama is at $20 million. And Chris Dodd apparently has subway fare. [NYDN]
• Q: When does the Post become touchy-feely about animal welfare? A: When it helps torpedo a Giuliani. Turns out that in the seventies, Judith then-Nathan used to shill for a medical-supply firm that put surgical staples on live dogs during sales demonstrations. Ew. [NYP]
• Today's USA Today profiles, in heroic prose ("tempers flare as forklifts dart"), the armed federal agents patrolling the Fulton Fish Market for illegal clams. It seems 750 probes into local seafood-smuggling operations were launched in the last year alone. [USAT]
• And a new Arabic middle school will take up the top floor of Park Slope's P.S. 282, which put the nabe's parents in a somewhat un–Park Slope–ian nativist tizzy — with some threatening to pull their kids out. Thing is, it'll be an Arabic language school, not a madrassa. [MetroNY]
Donald Trump claims that Golf Digest didn't include his West Palm Beach course on their "Greatest Courses" list because he refused to advertise in the magazine. Jennifer Lopez arrived three hours late to her album-release party. Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie may be breaking up. James Gandolfini picked up a girl Tony Soprano–style. And Christopher is apparently the odds-on favorite to get whacked in the final season. Julianna Marguiles bought condoms with some guy at Duane Reade. Lindsay Lohan was allowed to use an apartment in the Atelier on West 45th Street because developers wanted to give the building some star power.
Valerie Plame allegedly canceled her upcoming chat with Keith Olbermann because her publisher wants to "maximize the publicity" when her book comes out. At a recent fundraiser, Bill Clinton attacked the New York Times for the paper's treatment of his wife. (Who he thinks is "very electable"). Anna Wintour thinks the word "blog" is "garish-sounding," and wants her staff to come up with an alternate word. Michael Wolff is going to Michael's tonight for a party, breaking a two-year boycott after he was once denied a table. Famous folks continue to eat at the Waverly Inn. Lindsay Lohan has partied a lot since she came to New York last week.