A Selective History of Giuliani's NYC
Rudy GiulianiThe Ad: New York City is the third or fourth largest government in the country. It's one of the largest economies in the United States. They used to call it unmanageable, ungovernable. A large majority of New Yorkers wanted to leave and live somewhere else. It was a city that was in financial crisis. A city that was the crime capital of America. A city that was the welfare capital of America. A city that was in very, very difficult condition when I became the mayor.
By the time I left office, New York City was being proclaimed as the best example of conservative government in the country. We turned it into the safest large city in America. The welfare to work capital of America. And most importantly, the spirit of the people of the city had changed. Instead of being hopeless, the large majority of people had hope. So I believe I've been tested in a way in which the American people can look to me. They're not going to find perfection, but they're going to find somebody who has dealt with crisis almost on a regular basis and has had results. And in many cases exceptional results, results people thought weren't possible.
Analysis: Giuliani's first TV ad, a 60-second spot in New Hampshire, is largely factual but rather selective in its claims. New York was widely described as ungovernable when he became mayor in 1994. Giuliani did succeed in significantly cutting crime and the welfare rolls. The ad ignores the possibility that national forces, such as declining crime rates and President Clinton's welfare reform, may have played a role.
The notion that New York was "proclaimed" the best example of conservative governance is based on quotes from such conservative pundits as George Will and John Podhoretz and Mississippi's GOP governor, Haley Barbour. And whether a "large majority" of people had hope when Giuliani left office is impossible to prove. Not surprisingly, the ad ignores the many controversies of his eight-year tenure, such as his badly strained relations with the black community and charges that he bullied opponents. There is also no mention of 9/11, which critics have accused him of exploiting.
In saying that voters will not find "perfection," Giuliani appears to be alluding to his messy divorce, among other difficulties, and urging voters to look past those problems and judge him as a strong manager.
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