Carol Platt Liebau: The Hits on Rudy

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Hits on Rudy

It's apparent that the MSM has finally decided that Rudy Giuliani must be taken seriously as a Republican presidential candidate. Many were clearly expecting that the conservative wing of the party would simply reject him, thereby validating the media's stereotypes about close-minded right wingers, etc., etc. But -- at least from their perspective -- no such luck.

So today, we have two hit pieces on Rudy -- this one from the AP recounting the beefs that firefighters have had with the mayor since 9/11, and this one from The New York Times reporting leaked grand jury testimony that his chief investigator remembered briefing him on Bernard Kerik's alleged ties to a company with ties to organized crime before Kerik's appointment as NYC's police commissioner.

This stuff strikes me as pretty thin gruel. After all, anyone who has ever run any major organization is going to have people who are angry and unhappy about his tenure there -- and it's worth noting, as the AP story does near its end, that Rudy was a tough negotiator with the firemen's union, which could explain a fair amount of the disenchantment. As for the Kerik story, Giuliani's testimony that he didn't remember the chief investigator telling him about the Kerik business is consistent; what's more, that story makes sense -- given that the investigator himself cleared Kerik to become police commissioner.

In my view, Rudy has more to worry about from stories like these that highlight his unorthodox personal life and Mrs. Giuliani, who herself may turn out to be something of a mixed blessing for the campaign. As Peggy Noonan put it quite aptly, "In politics, in the world of political life, the proper attitude of a third wife is modesty."

'Nuf said?


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