On Judith Giuliani
And Vanity Fair
The 2008 campaign sometimes seems to be about the spouses as much as the candidates, as the "Terror Alert" headline on the new issue of Vanity Fair makes clear.
The alleged terror in question is Judith Giuliani, and while she's not on the cover -- that honor belongs to Gisele Bundchen -- the magazine devotes many, many words to what can only be described as an unflattering portrait of the ex-mayor's third wife.
The Rudy camp tried to roll out Judi a couple of months ago with a Barbara Walters interview, which fizzled when he said his spouse could sit in on Cabinet meetings. It was also uncomfortable watching her dodge the question of how they got involved, since at the time she was the Other Woman before Giuliani's messy public divorce from Wife No. 2, Donna Hanover.
Judith Giuliani seems to have been hustled off the stage since then, and she did not speak to Vanity Fair. But lots of others did, often anonymously, portraying her as a divisive force in the campaign.
Does any of this matter? Hard to say. But Judith is a potential first lady of the United States, so there's no way to duck the media scrutiny. Not in a campaign where so much has been made of Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Edwards and Jeri Thompson, described by no less a publication than the New York Times as Fred Thompson's "trophy wife."
Judith Giuliani's presence also can remind voters that her husband is barely on speaking terms with his 21-year-old son Andrew, an apparent outgrowth of the divorce and remarriage, which deprives the candidate from presenting the family tableaux favored by those running for office.
Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights) from the Vanity Fair piece:
"Within Giuliani's camp the picture of who Judith is is not much clearer. 'When I see her, she's only interested in my jewelry, where I buy my dresses,' says a friend of the former mayor's. 'Does anyone really know Judith Giuliani? Let's be honest: no one does.' "
Ex-husband Bruce: " 'My wife drinks often,' Bruce had maintained for years. 'She is a manipulator and a pathological liar and exaggerator.' It was all fuel for the tabloids. Everything in Judi's life was.' . . ."
"According to a number of Giuliani's good friends, the former mayor insists on Judith's presence at events for his offspring -- and when this demand is thwarted, he doesn't attend. He was not present, they say, at Andrew's graduation from St. Joseph Regional High School in New Jersey. Now 21 and a Duke University junior, the son tells friends he doesn't speak to Rudy, according to one of his classmates -- this at a time when his father is desperate to attract conservative, family-values backing . . ."
"She has become used to getting her way. An organizer of a recent fashion shoot received a call from one of Rudy's business associates warning her to address his wife as Judith. According to this source, Judith became so smitten with the dress she was modeling 'that she simply didn't want to take it off. She didn't offer to pay. She made it very clear she wanted it for free. You know how it is when someone stalls.' . . ."
"If Giuliani's third wife became less popular as time went on, it was in part due to the feeling that she had a private list of Rudy loyalists she wanted fired . . ."
Could any of those loyalists have been sources for the article? Just asking.
August 2, 2007; 11:59 AM ET
Categories: B_Blog , Rudy Giuliani
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