Giuliani must be seriously freaked about Iowa and New Hampshire. Just as a group called "9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters" is preparing to pillory his terrorism record with a town-hall meeting today in Hanover, New Hampshire, the Republican candidate has launched his first direct-mail offensive that touts him as "America's Mayor." While he's boasted about his 9/11 record in the past, until now he's refrained from using his media-given nickname to get attention. But with Romney in the lead in the two key early-primary states, Giuliani is now targeting voters in both with a pamphlet explaining how he "led the largest rescue and recovery operation in US history."
Giuliani must have known this day was coming. The New York City policemen's union, the Patrolman's Benevolent Association, has publicly turned against his candidacy. According to the Post, in another blow to Giuliani's NYC credibility, PBA honcho Patrick Lynch said his group "could never support Rudy Giuliani for any elected office." Lynch's beef with the former mayor is over contract disputes that tarnished the end of his mayoralty. Now, never mind the fact that it's basically Lynch's job to gripe about cop salaries — Lynch also pretty much owes his position to Giuliani's tightfistedness. He was elected as head of the PBA in a surprise upstart election, running in 1999 at a time of major policeman frustration with Giuliani. Still, even though it was surely expected, the presidential candidate's camp couldn't muster much of a stinging comeback to Lynch's attacks. "Mayor Giuliani has always had, and continues to have, strong support from law enforcement," said a spokeswoman, in a statement that, aside from being demonstrably untrue, is also kind of boring. His camp is probably banking on the fact that this story won't go far outside the city limits. People here know how the cops feel about Rudy, but outside he's still cashing in on the fact that most people probably think he actually is a cop. Just like how people outside the city think he actually isa Yankees fan.
COP RUNNETH OVER [NYP]
Don’t worry about that little Kerik corruption indictment; it won’t have any effect on the presidential campaign of Rudy Giuliani. Or at least that’s the political calculation of William Weld, former governor of Massachusetts, brief candidate for New York governor and now lawyer. “I don’t think it sticks to Rudy,” Weld told us last night at the Atlantic Monthly 150th anniversary party. And just why might a federal indictment charges of the former bodyguard Giuliani appointed to police commissioner (the job detail: keep Americans safe) and then recommend for the national post of Homeland Security director (job detail: keep Americans safe) give us a reason to question Giuliani’s judgment? Weld’s response: “I don’t think anyone is ever going to believe that Rudy Giuliani has a corrupt bone in his body. I'm sure people will cavil, but I don’t think they really should. I was with Rudy in the Justice Department and he’s the straightest guy that ever walked.” And this from a guy who's rooting for Romney.—Geoffrey Gray
Bernie Kerik surrendered this morning to federal officials after his indictment yesterday on corruption charges. And, the Daily News reports, Rudy Giuliani is already dodging questions over whether, as president, he'd pardon his old friend:
"It wouldn't be fair to ask that question at this point," the Republican presidential hopeful said in an exclusive interview in Dubuque, Iowa, just hours before Kerik was indicted in New York.
"He may or may not be charged, he may or may not be convicted. Who knows what happens?"
Makes sense, sure, but that won't fly with voters — or Democratic hecklers, who are hoping Kerik's grime will tarnish everything Giuliani says from now on.
Rudy scored a huge coup today when, in a speech at the National Press Club, powerful evangelist Pat Robertson announced he would endorse the former New York mayor. Robertson's announcement will give pause to the many who assumed that if Giuliani won the Republican nomination, there would be low Values Voter turnout in support of him. Earlier this year, Christian leaders like Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Tony Perkins, head of the conservative Family Research Council; and James Dobson, leader of Focus on the Family all said they would not support Giuliani's run. But Robertson, who may hold the most sway of them all, will at least mitigate that influence. This is obviously great for Giuliani, but less so for Robertson. Giuliani is pro-gay and pro-abortion, two of the Values Voters' biggest no-no's. So why the plug? We can think of two reasons. One, it adds to the odds that the Christian right won't have to deal with a Mormon in the White House if the Republicans win, and two, now if Giuliani wins, Robertson can claim he is beholden to the evangelicals. Had he won without any of their support, he would be free of their influence while in power (unlike, say, Bush). Which is kind of a shame. We were sort of looking forward to a general election between two infidels next year, instead of just one.
Pat Robertson Endorses Giuliani [WP]
Today's Wall Street Journal includes a well-researched story about the hush-hush client list of Giuliani Partners. So that's what Giuliani was so tense about yesterday when reporters asked him who he's been working with in the private sector. "All of the sudden, you are going to start jumping to conclusions about them when there are absolutely no suggestion they have done anything wrong?!" he shrieked at reporters in New Hampshire. Could it be he knew the Journal was asking questions about Giuliani Partners' contracts with the government of Qatar, a U.S. ally that has a questionable track record in dealing with Al Qaeda? As the paper explains, that's "a potential political pitfall for a candidate pitching himself as an uncompromising foe of Islamic terrorism." In addition to his security firm's government contract (which is with the state-owned Qatar Petroleum), his law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, opened an office in Qatar's capital, Doha, in June. So far that's nothing too damning, but it's certainly a visible dent in his hard line against Islamist militants. And more important, it's sure to make Giuliani just that much shriller when he's asked about his firm's client lists in the future. We're hoping we can get him up an entire octave!
Qatar Contract Offers Glimpse Into Giuliani Firm [WSJ]
Earlier:Giuliani Gets Prickly Over Client List Questions
Today's Daily News chronicles Rudy Giuliani's admirable refusal to distance himself from Bernie Kerik: "Sure, there were issues," shrugged the Republican front-runner (we'd say: Kerik is facing federal indictment), before praising Bernie's crime-reduction record. Seriously, people, that's integrity. Hillary Clinton, at this point, would have gone glassy-eyed and said she'd never met the guy. Which makes it all the more surprising that, immediately after defending a thoroughly tainted pal, Rudy blew up at a comparatively innocuous question: Would he release the Bracewell & Giuliani and Giuliani Partners' client lists? "Nobody has ever accused them of doing anything wrong," he repeated. Actually, the News points out, at issue here is not any wrongdoing but basic conflicts of interest. For instance, Bracewell & Giuliani, Rudy's law firm, used to represent Citgo, which is owned by oh, no Venezuela.
This weekend's epic Newsweek story about Mayor Bloomberg reveals how closely and specifically Hizzoner and his aides (Kevin Sheekey in particular) have been considering a presidential bid. Sheekey has thought about the amount of money it would cost ($1 billion), the strategic advantages Bloomberg would have (nominees from both parties are sure to have racked up high negatives by next year), and the timing that would make it perfect (after the March 5 primary, when both parties' candidates would be finally set in stone). He even has thoughts of how to tackle the Electoral College in the case of a close race.
Doesn't it seem like only a short time ago that Rudy Giuliani was cavorting around London, all chummy with the Brits? Now he's pissed them right off by offering up a wonky statistic in an ad his campaign is running, which uses Giuliani's own experience with prostate cancer to argue against the "socialist" health-care plans suggested by other candidates. In it, he says: "My chance of surviving prostate cancer — and, thank God, I was cured of it — in the United States? Eighty-two percent. My chance of surviving prostate cancer in England? Only 44 percent under socialized medicine." But the Office for National Statistics in Britain begs to differ; they say says the survival rate for first-year prostate cancer in the U.K. is more like 74.4 percent. It turns out Giuliani's numbers came from a first-person article written by a Giuliani adviser and published by Rudes's old friends at the Manhattan Institute. Which means basically the Republican front-runner reads Pravda to get his news. Plus the original source of the figure, the Commonwealth Fund, says it was manipulated. Does Giuliani's campaign care? Eh, not so much. Will they do any further research into this matter? Probably not. One source is plenty! Especially since, as his spokeswoman awesomely told the Times, "The citation is an article in a highly respected intellectual journal written by an expert at a highly respected think tank which the mayor read because he is an intellectually engaged human being."
Giuliani’s Prostate Cancer Figure Is Disputed [NYT]
The Ugly Truth About Canadian Healthcare [City Journal]
The Harmonie Club: Founded in 1852 by Jews after Christian clubs would not let them join, it's lately been hitting headlines because of its own exclusivity. MTA chief Dale Hemmerdinger was pressured by black and Latino politicians to quit the club (he was a former president) before taking on his post this month. The membership of Bernard Spitzer, father of Eliot, has been much discussed of late, as has Barack Obama's decision to cancel a fund-raiser there earlier this year. Mayor Bloomberg himself canceled his membership before taking office, citing their lack of diversity as his main complaint. So it's perhaps an off choice of location for Rudy Giuliani's Republican Jewish fund-raiser today, as the Daily News's Daily Politics blog reports. The campaign was hush-hush about it, so maybe they were hoping no one would notice. It might also be the case that he agrees with Ed Koch and thinks the club has every right to exclude non-Jews. Or maybe he just doesn't care what New Yorkers think of him anymore, unless they're giving him money. Our secret theory is that he was confused and thought the Harmonie Club was only keeping out straight people. Just because of, you know, the name.
Giuliani at the Harmonie? [NYDN]
Are things looking less rosy for Michael Mukasey, the man who was meant to finally give conservatives an orgasm? The seemingly spotless Bush nominee for U.S. Attorney General has run into a couple of hurdles in the last week during Senate confirmation hearings. The first one is torture: Mukasey told senators that he didn't know whether "waterboarding," the practice of simulating the act of drowning so that a prisoner will divulge information, was unlawful or not. "It turned away from an easy confirmation," a high-ranking Democrat told the Daily News. The second hurdle is presidential candidate Chris Dodd. The Connecticut senator has announced that he will vote against Mukasey's confirmation, largely because the former judge and prosecutor has said that the president might be above certain presidential statutes. "That is about as basic as it gets," Dodd later said. "You must obey the law. Everyone must." Marc Cooper at the Huffington Post points out that once Dodd turned against him, the other Democratic presidential candidates have been forced to turn their thumbs down, too. Torture, as the old saying goes, is not an easy issue to get behind. Mukasey, what happened? You were our hometown boy. Don't make us pull a Rudy and turn against our own kind!
Dodd Sets Pace on Dunking Mukasey [HuffPo]
Michael Mukasey's AG Confirmation in Doubt [NYDN]
So, readers. We know you have lots of things to say about Gossip Girl. Who doesn't? But lately we've been wondering what you think about other things we write about. Like, you know, Rudy Giuliani, sports, or people who are bonkers. We know you have opinions and jokes, and we're betting they're usually better than ours. Which is why we've added comments to Daily Intel. From now on, you can comment on any and every post we write, from the lame to the genius. Registration is quick and easy, so don't hesitate. The comments show up on the main Daily Intel page, which you should have bookmarked anyway, you jerks. We really need the backup. Seriously, we're even ripping off the LOLCats. Throw us a bone!
Former mayor Ed
Koch said his scariest moment in office was when a bunch of doctors threw eggs at his face during the Iran hostage crisis. Kristen
Johnston forgot her lines while performing at The 24 Hour Plays. Bill
Clinton said that he'd like to do a makeover of Grumpy Old Men with Bill Crystal if Hillary is elected president. An assortment of famous folks ate at both Le
Cirque and the Waverley Inn. Donald Trump's brother, Robert,
and wife Blaine got a divorce. Ben
Affleck said he'd rather worship Satan than flip baseball-team loyalty à la Rudy Giuliani. Maybe fat Ryan Gosling hung out with a hot brunette at Rose Bar.
Remember when Hillary Clinton made headlines by saying she'd "have to alternate sides" if the Cubs (her real home team) and the Yankees (her adopted one) faced off in the World Series? "SHE'S FLIP-FLOPPING!" cried conservative pundits, cackling wickedly. Except, as Clinton herself pointed out, such a matchup was completely unlikely and didn't actually pan out in reality. But Rudy Giuliani today flip-flopped on team loyalty for absolutely no reason. He told a crowd in Boston this afternoon that he is "rooting for the Red Sox" in the World Series. His wafer-thin logic is that he always roots for the American League. Um, WHAT? Why don't you eat our American League assholes, Rudy? No real Yankee fan would ever root for their bitter rival, not even in the most extreme circumstances. This makes us question everything about Rudy and what he says he stands for. Sure, people may change their position about abortion and gun control all the time. But on team loyalty? That just goes too far.
Yankee Fan Giuliani Backing Red Sox [NYT]
Rudy Giuliani has hired a legal bulldog to keep him protected from any involvement in the federal case against his former ally Bernard Kerik, reports the Post. The lawyer, a partner at his firm Giuliani & Bracewell, is named Marc Mukasey — yeah, that's right: the dapper young son of soon-to-be U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. The younger Mukasey is charged with the task of making sure that Kerik's potential bribery and tax-fraud indictments don't wound the Giuliani campaign. So far, Mukasey has earned his keep by blocking Kerik defense attorneys from talking to former Giuliani aides – basically hamstringing the former NYPD chief's efforts to defend himself. This is an aggressive move for Giuliani, who the paper reports in the past has remained supportive of Kerik even though Kerik has cost him political capital. The point of hiring Mukasey was to make it look like Giuliani didn't know anything about Kerik's alleged activities, but we just took a look at Mukasey's page on his firm Website.
The Boston Globe's Political Intelligence blog reports the newest Rudy Giuliani campaign faux pas: Apparently the Republican presidential front-runner did a hawkish riff on China in front of the wrong audience.
While praising Reagan's blunt description of the Soviet Union as an "evil empire," Giuliani went out of his way to note that "Communist China" deserved the same epithet. The man who was sitting immediately to Giuliani's left as he said this — Sheldon Adelson this summer opened two casinos in Macau.
What the Globe doesn’t point out is that, funnily enough, Giuliani's own firm, Giuliani Security & Safety Asia — a part of the ultralucrative constellation of anti-terror consultancies the man amassed after 9/11 — is itself gearing up to do major business with the Evil Empire. Check out their Website, which proudly proclaims that GSSA is "preparing to introduce its comprehensive security and safety consulting services to South Korea and China." Now that will be one awkward board meeting.
Know Your Audience, Giuliani Learns [Political Intelligence/Boston Globe]
Giuliani Security & Safety Asia [Official site]
You know how Rudy's been hating on the Big Apple all over the place lately? Well, it looks like he's making at least a slight effort this week to make nice. After New Yorkers (and others) became outraged that a California supporter threw a fund-raiser for him asking for donations in the denomination of $9.11, the Giuliani campaign quietly began returning the checks. It's a small gesture (literally — how much money could he have raised? If 200 people sent in checks, that's still well under the maximum amount one person can donate alone), but it's something. Is he finally recognizing how offensive it is for him to try to own the September 11 tragedy? Is he taking note that if his home city finishes turning against him, he'll have a hard time convincing people that he has a great mayoral legacy? Does this signify personal growth on his part? Eh, probably not. It's just $9.11, people.
Giuliani Camp Returning $9.11 Donor Checks [HuffPo]
A noose dangling from the door of an African-American Columbia professor’s office was the only thing that kept Yankees manager Joe Torre off the front pages this week. Rudy Giuliani pleaded with a capricious higher power — God, that is, not George Steinbrenner — to save his pin-striped pal’s job (he’d already said he’d appoint Torre to his Cabinet if given the chance). Mayor Bloomberg, displaying the tendency to be not totally insane that has set him apart from his predecessor time and again, merely remarked that “you can have great people and great coaching and it’s just not meant to be.”
Did Yankees fans really "roundly boo" when Rudy Giuliani's face appeared on the screen at the Yankees game Monday night, as Keith Olbermann and the Huffington Post reported yesterday? Or were they actually shouting "Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!" which "resembles a 'boo,' but [is] not quite the same," as one reader e-mailed Daily Intel today. She tells us she was at the game and was "positive that they were chanting Rudy." Oddly, the Olbermann broadcast that reported the "brief but lusty" booing didn't show a clip of it, and we haven't been able to find any footage of said boo-age. If anyone has video of the incident, send it to us at email@example.com, because now we're wondering: Was the crowd really jeering at Rudy, or was that just the sweet sound of liberal bias?
Rudy Booed at Yankee Stadium[MSNBC via You Tube]
Earlier:Rudy Can't Get to First Base With Yankees Fans
Are Rudy Giuliani's fellow Yankees fans revolting against him? Rudes has always been the team's No. 1 fan (in fact, Salon recently noted that in 2001 he spent more time at Yankees games than he did at ground zero), and the sight of him glad-handing his fellow fanatics, in a gratuitously emblazoned Yankees cap and jacket, has become familiar. But on Monday night, when his face appeared on the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium during the seventh inning, "there was no mistaking what happened," Keith Olbermann said on the Countdown last night. "He was briefly but lustily booed. No cheers or applause at all. Kind of uncouth, during 'God Bless America,' but perhaps very telling." Indeed! If Rudy's losing baseball fans, could that mean he's losing his base?
Rudy Giuliani, Booed at Yankee Stadium During “God Bless America”[MSNBC, transcript]
After 9/11, Rudy Wasn't a Rescue Worker — He Was a Yankee [Salon]