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Rudy Embraces Reagan Legacy

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani offered his vision for a redefined Republican party during a speech to the Hoover Institution in Washington earlier today.

That vision? In a word "freedom."

In a sometimes meandering 30 minute speech, Giuliani wove the importance of freedom through a variety of topics from taxes to school choice to entitlement reform. He also used the idea of freedom to illustrate the differences between Democrats and Republicans.

"The Republican party is the party of the people," said Giuliani. "The Democratic Party is the party of government."

Giuliani repeatedly invoked Ronald Reagan's legacy as a guidepost for the new/old direction the Republican party should head. "Who brought more freedom to the world in modern times than Ronald Reagan," Giuliani asked. He credited Reagan with teaching him that the American economy runs best when private companies not public entities drive it.

Interestingly, after remarks devoted almost entirely to domestic policy, Giuliani quickly pivoted during the question and answer session to emphasize the supreme importance of foreign policy. "Foreign policy has always been an area of great interest to me," he said, adding that since leaving office in 2001 he has traveled abroad at least 90 times and visited nearly three dozen foreign countries. "I know the world," asserted Giuliani.

He touched on Iraq only briefly and then only to condemn the non-binding resolution being pushed by Senate Democrats that seeks to condemn President Bush's surge proposal."Everyone in politics has receded back in 'Let's do nothing tough,'" said Giuliani.

His speech to the Hoover Institution is part of a series of stops in Washington, D.C. this week. Jonathan Martin at the Politico has some details on Giuliani's huddle with the K Street crowd on Friday. Giuliani is also set to speak to the Conservative Political Action Committee -- a gathering of leading conservatives from around the country -- on Friday in the nation's capital.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 26, 2007; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | March 17, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

meuphys: I think I have answered your question but will try and expand on it a little. I can find no "unique and attractive policy position" that would make Hillary stand out from the rest. Where she does stand out is her way of getting to the concerns of folks she represents. Those opposed to her always, or most times, never mention her success in upper NY, where she won those folk over when the opposition said she could not. These are little things that are often overlooked, but matter a great deal in the long run.

Posted by: lylepink | February 28, 2007 2:51 AM | Report abuse

lyle, these are two other questions i wanted you to answer:

"if the majority of democrats (including obama, richardson, biden, edwards, et al) agree (with hillary) on the issues, what stands out for you in terms of a unique and attractive policy position? i.e. one NOT shared by the other candidates?"

"(because) she comes across (to me and to others) as cold, calculating, power-hungry etc. - her pitching a fit at obama after what david geffen said was quite unattractive to a lot of people" - what gives you confidence that she could keep her cool in an international crisis, when people like putin, hugo chavez, ahmadinejad, other leaders taunt her or attempt to discredit her in the eyes of the world? this is a serious question, albeit exandad from what i said before...

i yield the floor to the gentleman who supports hillary:

Posted by: meuphys | February 27, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

ewe2: The Reagan myth is the best spin the GOP has ever done. Reagan was at best a mediocre POTUS in that he failed in almost everything the conservaties hold dear. Perhaps history will not be so gracious. The Iran-Contra deal wii play a big part in what the history writers will be looking for in their ranking of him.

Posted by: lylepink | February 27, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if the Republican party would go back to its basic principles of small government, pro-life, and President George W. Bush is not a true conservative like Reagan. Nation-building, expanded government, deficit spending, and federal intervention in states' rights will be Bush's legacies.
President Reagan did increase federal spending but stuck with his conservative views more times than not.

Posted by: ewe2 | February 27, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

GOP'er..and i'm sure your one of the fifteen people left in the country who think the Shrub is doing a great job, and that "victory" is still attainable in Iraq...

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | February 27, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

".I also never understood the "Reagan is God" mystique"

Why not? It's just like the "Al Gore is God" mystique that is so popular of late. You seem to fall victim to that line of thinking fairly easily.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 27, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

MikeB: I cannot see Hillary as you are trying to paint her. The fact is when you state she supports this or is against that, is something that anyone can "nitpick" either way and make a case for or against anyone. Jung, I hope my spelling is correct, is a author that I read a few of his books back in the 1970's and found quite good. I believe most people support the Brady Bill, although I have not read it, for it seems reasonable to restrict the use of certain firearms. I don't see where Hillary is against hunting or some other proper use of these weapons. I was brought up in a place where hunting was a way of life and I don't know anyone that needed anything close to what the Brady Bill tried to restrict as I understand it, remember I have not read the Bill. Health care is an issue that most folk in this country have a lot of problems with and where Hillary made her mistakes about this, I think she has learned from them. I strongly support Hillary and firmly believe she will be the next POTUS and hope I can play a little part in helping her.

Posted by: lylepink | February 27, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN. However, Ronald Reagan, especially if you read the things written about him by *all* of his children, was a warm, honest, and just plain decent father and man. Also, like it or not, he and the late Pope really did flat out destroy the old Soviet Union, which was one of the last remnants of evil left over from the "great Wars". And, even with the revival of old Soviet thugs like Putin, with his political murder squads in Britain and elsewhere, Russia is not the threat it once was and likely wont ever be so again....unless we continue to elect idiots like Bush that throw it all away. Beyond that, President Reagan lifted this country out of a major recession and gave a lot of people hope. I think most people argue about his "trickle down" economics without considering that it was the man that had the most effect, not the policies. All and all, Republican or not, Ronald Reagan was a GREAT President. And, I think you are right, Alan Gore has it within him to be another great President. So does Bill Richardson and John Edwards and Chuck Hagel and, even perhaps, Barak Obama. If we are very very smart and very very lucky we just might elect one of them as our next President.

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

here's to hoping Al Gore comes to his senses and leaps in..I also never understood the "Reagan is God" mystique held by repugs..He won the cold war by simply driving the Soviets to bankruptcy..It never was some great ideological triumph of democracy vs communism..Russia doesn't seem to be holding to many democratic ideals these days or am i missing something?

Posted by: TheIrishCurse | February 27, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

lylepink - "...MikeB: You appear/are one of the Clinton haters that I have mentioned several times over these past weeks/month..."
No. I never hated Bill Clinton. I actually thought he was a pretty good President, not a great one, but a good one. Hillary is a whole other creature. She is pro-outsourcing, pro-gun control (NOT just the stupid Brady Bill ban on semi-automatic guns. Ordinary shotguns, like the Browning semi-automatic shotgun just like the one I and John Kerry both use...that was *banned* under badly written and just plain nuts Brady Bill). And Hillary would ban them again. he also talks about banning private ownership of hand guns and her "take" on public employees is to tax the living snot out of everyone else and just given them all the money they want and then some. Her ideas on national healthcare are a government and private mishmash that is a horror to even contemplate.

Big corporations regularly fire older workers and replace them with foreign "guest workers". Almost 50% of our engineers over the age of 45 are out of work as engineers! Nine out of every ten new engineering hires are either from India or China...and that is right now! Instead of adding more H1B visa's (Hillary's stance) we ought to be talking about ending that program. Instead of legalizing 20 million or so illegals we need to figure out what sort of impact that many new workers is going to have on our existing workers. But morons like Hillary don't think that far in advance. As for gun control, Hillary is so far out of contact with Western liberals and so much in the pocket of those East Coast Emily's List twits that she will never understand us. Most of us hunt, we enjoy competitive shooting, and we do it with our children. My incredible 21 year old daughter shoots trap and skeet with me every chance she gets and goes duck and quail hunting, too! She's been my hunting buddy since she was 8 years old and passed her firearm safety test! For healthcare a simple national *manditory* HMO is what we need, cut out the private robber barrons from participating in something that critical to people's lives.

Those are just a few of the reasons I cannot and will not support Hillary Clinton. She is 180 degrees opposite me and most Western liberals on a lot of key issues. So spare me the "Clinton Bashing" idiocy. Hillary is as hard headed and ignorant and stubborn and dangerous as George Bush and she is just as much in the pocket of special interesrts and ig business as is George Bush.

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Reagan's decision making solid??? You mean when he sent US Marines to Lebanon, in support of an Israeli-imposed government, to sit in their barracks and wait for someone to blow them up. Or maybe when he supported Hussein in the slaughter he started with Iran? Or when he supported Iran with a secret arms for hostages deal? Or when he let Israel continue settling in the Occupied Territories making peace so much harder to achieve? Or when he let budget deficits balloon? Just imagine what Republicans would have screamed if Democrats had done that. He was a great president for the rich, as good as the current boy king.
He did useful work in opposing the Soviets but nothing crucial. Their humiliating defeat in Afghanistan (Carter started the American aid to the anti-Soviet resistance) and economic stagnation were their major problems. And they were never able to suppress the spirit of Solidarity in Poland. The Helsinki Accords of 1975, denounced as traitorous by right wing Republicans, were very helpful because they guaranteed rights of self-expression to all Europeans and became a rallying ground for East European democrats.

Posted by: newageblues | February 27, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Go Rudy! I am a Dem and I am voting for him!!

Posted by: Political Junkie | February 27, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey drindl, your depiction of Guiliani is the best persuasion that I have heard yet to vote for him. I've always thought of him as to liberal for my liking, but after hearing you rant of his persecution of those least in society and defending the rights of cops to act...I'm more inclined now to vote for him.

Posted by: reason | February 27, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Here is where political reporters can really show their chops in this campaign:

Most candidates do not write their own speeches. Some of them do not even edit their own speeches. Who wrote Giuliani's? How much of his speech reflected his thought, and how much his speechwriter(s)'s?

These same questions might be asked of all the other candidates in each party. Obviously the answers will be more meaningful in some cases than in others -- some lesser-known candidates may use more original material because they cannot afford many speechwriters, and John McCain has given so many talks about Americans pursuing causes "greater than our own self-interest" by this time that it hardly matters who came up with the phrase originally.

But political reporters in general spend a lot of time telling people only what they could see for themselves if they happened to be at political events. They report the surface, not always the substance. In Giuliani's case, we already know he has some skill and training in the law, and has had some success in business. But he's running for President now, addressing subjects he has not had to before. The public has an interest in knowing who is putting words in his mouth, if there are ideas behind the words, and whether those ideas are his or someone else's.

Posted by: Zathras | February 27, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

meuphys: I find it hard that you use the words "dynasty and entitlement" in your opposition of Hillary when, to the best of my knowledge, was started and/or begain by one of the right wingnuts we hear so much about. IMHO, Hillary not only is well qualified for the job on her own but has the on the job training in that I am sure Bubba discussed most all issues he faced with her and the same thing has continued during her role as Senator of NY. The dems have a number of folks that are qualified to be POTUS and would do a great job. A great deal of attention has been on Obama and as I have stated before, IMO, he has ZERO chance of being elected. I think Bill Richardson would be my second choice as far as qualified for the job is taken into consideration among those that are running. Anything else I can help you with?.

Posted by: lylepink | February 27, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Rudy says Repubs are the party of people, the Dems are the party of gov't. But when we're talking about the military or the police/ prisons or corporate welfare it's the Repubs who are the true believers in unlimited government power. Repubs like to use gov't to punish selected "bad" people, Dems like to help give the disadvantaged a fighting chance.

Posted by: newageblues | February 27, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Blarg: I think I see; couldn't tell who it was that chris karma hated from his statement.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 27, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

newageblues, because Rudy lisped and sputtered on Nightline when Ronald Reagan was about to fire all of the Air Traffic Controllers and risk the safety of everybody flying, "Because it's the Law!"

He doesn't see beyond the ink on the page; although he's willing to rip out and throw away the page when it suits his purpose.

He either cut his Logic and Ethics courses at Manhattan, or just regurgitated the text matter.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice if Giuliani, or any other self proclaimed lover of freedom, would give a reasonable explanation of why people who prefer marijuana to killer alcohol don't deserve freedom. Common decency says that if you single out a group of people as criminals, you have the responsiblity to say why. So, alcohol lovers, show a little common decency and explain why you are superior to marijuana users, in spite of the catastrophically strong alcohol-violence link.
Why the hell would you expect anybody to respect a law that you won't make the slightest sober attempt to justify?

Posted by: newageblues | February 27, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

lyle, in re: "clinton haters," i like bill just fine - best president of my lifetime. not so crazy about his wife, especially as she seems to see the fact that she is his wife (in her defense, not always an easy job) as entitling her to the nomination.

i remember asking you before why specifically - in policy terms - you supported her, and you answering sth like "i agree with her on most issues." great - but if the majority of democrats (including obama, richardson, biden, edwards, et al) agree on these issues, what stands out for you in terms of a unique and attractive policy position? i.e. one NOT shared by the other candidates?

it cannot be news to you that she comes across as cold, calculating, power-hungry etc. her pitching a fit at obama after what david geffen said was quite unattractive to a lot of people, even a bit petty. i just don't think she's that likeable and thus electable, and it's NOT because she's a woman. it IS (at least for me) in large part because her running for her husband's old job smells way too much like "dynasty," "entitlement," all sorts of words like that. there is no hereditary succession in a democracy - although i don't blame anyone for thinking there is when bush I was followed by II.

i would be interested in your response to those points, especially the last one...

Posted by: meuphys | February 27, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Judge, I think that was Chris Karma's point. Rudy is so strict on gun control that he makes Bill Clinton look like a well-known gun advocate. He could have said Charleton Heston instead of Bill Clinton, and it would have worked the same.

JayPe, considering the divorce rate in this country, I'd say that disqualifying a candidate for getting divorced is excessive.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Umm, chris karma I hate to break it to you but Ted Nugent is a right wing gun nut of the first order ( I suspect he'd find YOU too liberal for his tastes. You'll need to find another example of twisted rock'n'roll depravity to liken Bill Clinton to.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 27, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rushed by President Bush's decision to reinforce Baghdad with thousands more U.S. troops, two Army combat brigades are skipping their usual session at the Army's special training range in California.

They are now making preparations to leave their home bases'.

how many will die unneccessarily because of bush/cheney/rumsfeld's greed and incompetence?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Who would Jesus shoot with an assault rifle?

Posted by: roo | February 27, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

MikeB: You appear/are one of the Clinton haters that I have mentioned several times over these past weeks/months and a thought just came to me about the envy/jealous bit that seems to play a part in this. Could it be that a lot of the haters wish they were the one involved in the white house scandal.

Posted by: lylepink | February 27, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I think the most important proof of a candidates 'integrity' is his fidelity and loyalty to his wife. Candidates who have divorced their wife who they were going to have "for richer, for poorer, as long as we both shall live" are unlikely to have integrity while in office.

This counts out not only Rudy, but McCain (& Dodd) as well. Any others I've missed?

Posted by: JayPe | February 26, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

well 'chris karma' i hope you and the rest of the 'religious' gun nut voters all hate all the republic candidates and stay home and pray over your guns instead of voting...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 26, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

As a right wing gun nut Catholic Bush voter, I get on my knees and pray that Rudy never gets anywhere near the White House.

When it comes to the gun issue Rudy makes President Clinton look like Ted Nugent.

I hate him.

Posted by: chris karma | February 26, 2007 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Gee -- if Giuliani gets elected President I sure am glad that I am not a ferret!

From the public record, on the Web:

_There's something deranged about you_ (Giuliani) told the ferret advocate. _The excessive concern that you have for ferrets is something you should examine with a therapist - not with me . . . This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness._

My daughter has owned many ferrets. They are legal in this state. They are meek, friendly, sociable, and generally housebroken pets.

Does Giuliani have that same wonderful level of judgment about everything else too?

Posted by: oldhonky | February 26, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

MikeB-- why do you like Reagan so much? Honestly, I really would like to understand. He didn't give a damn about working people. He STARTED the activation of the religious right and his party's entry into people's bedrooms. His economic measures benefited the rich to the detriment of the middle class and ran up huge deficits. AND, b/c I know you care about this issue, he pushed for the largest amnesty program for illegal immigrants to date.

Given that record, I'm astounded that you wish you'd voted for him. I won't contradict your opinion that he was a decent man - that may very well be true - but for someone whose posts continually show a focus on working people, I'm shocked that you view him favorably.

Posted by: Colin | February 26, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

There are presidents whose success in one area, perhaps a vital area, overshadows all else that could have been better, and, for this reason, they are honored.

Reagan, like Giuliani, was far from perfect. In fact, I can't think of a perfect presidency.

Closer to his own time, Lincoln was criticized often. And FDR? (Lincoln and FDR often top lists of greatest presidents.) FDR was the butt of many any attack.

But the key thing that made Reagan such an effective leader were the very big things he did succeed at: For one, his efforts, along with those of Gorbachev, Pope John Paul 2, Margaret Thatcher, Lech Walesa and Vaclave Havel -- literally brought the end of the Cold War.

Detente had failed to accomplish much. Reagan thought the unthinkable. He thought that this state (USSR) could not last. He thought that the doctrine of mutually assured destruction was every bit as absurd as Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove suggested, so he pressed for change with a vehicle for peace -- the Star Wars, then a much laughed at concept; however, even if it was not feasible, it got the Soviets moving.

Reagan's summit with Gorbachev, whom Thatcher had decreed someone we can work with was a phenomenal peace of non-violent negotiation.

Reagan's deregulation of businesses also began to sooth some of what held the US economy back in those days.

I admire Reagan as an outside the box thinker. Read Richard Reeves's new biography of the former president. It is not hagiography. Reagan is there, warts and all -- but the one thing that was most interesting to me about Reagan, especially when compared with the current administration, was how often Reagan sought non-violent means to resolve tensions.

Reagan's rhetoric was tough; his stances firm, his decision making solid.

Giuliani -- prior to Giuliani's reign as mayor NYC was regarded ungovernable ... afterward crime remains low ... even to this day. Both these men make the moves that straighten out what most critics believe cannot be straightened.

They're not without sin. But they are quite remarkable.

Posted by: Chuck Coulter - Los Angeles | February 26, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Let's see... Trudy Giuliani, New York's most authoritarian deportee, claiming that the Republic Party is the party of "Freedom." Wow, no shortage of hubris there. What sort of freedom, the kind that wiretaps and spies illegally on its own citizens? The kind of freedom that evades international law and practices torture? Or the kind of freedom that allows an adulterous Republican middle-aged man to strut his new girlfriend on one arm while trashing his wife? I'm convinced that Republics are brain dead.

Posted by: Parakeeta Byrd | February 26, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

mike, no one said reagan was a bad person. but ketchup as a vegetable was his, skyrocketing deficit was his, complete lack of care for the environment - back when it would have been more responsive to care - that was his, too.

you know what else is his? the post-cold war world, in which nukes are bouncing around everywhere and every small nation wants one. and it was under reagan that we funded the mujahedeen in afghanistan, including one osama bin laden...

not that we knew at the time what he would turn out to be, but the point being that everything soviet and communist was evil then, just as everything muslim is now. we really need a president who speaks if not without regard to polls (unrealistic,) at least with an understanding that there are some issues more important than one's approval rating at the moment.

and in re: his children and wife, everything i have read about his kids would indicate that he was a distant father who never really connected, and as for his wife, she of the white house astrologer... or are you referring to his first wife, with whom he had little or no contact?

i do not understand the cult of ronald reagan. he began the deliberate simplification of republican ideology in an attempt to give his base something they could really understand and support, and now much of what was his base is out of practice at understanding more complicated problems, precisely when these are becoming more and more common. take iraq, for instance, or global warming, or the alternative minimum tax, or the situation with iran / north korea / china...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 26, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The Reagan legacy indeed. The double-dealing Iran/Contra episode where he sold arms to our enemy, Iran to fight the arms we gave our friend Saddam Hussein,in order to pay for an illegal war to depose a Marxist Nicaraguan leader whose people have recently elected him president in a democratic election. A great victory of Republican foreign policy.

Then there was trickle-down economics which proved to be percolate up economics that made the rich richer, and the poor poorer, and fiscal conservatism that drove us into the deepest hole of national debt since the end of World War II.

The party of the people? The facts suggest it's the party of foreign affairs double-dealing, support of big business, and fiscal irresponsibility.

Posted by: olroy | February 26, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh cut it out. Ronald Regan was one of the most decent men in American politics. His children and wife are a testament to the kind of man he was. I'm a Democrat and I didn't vote for him and I honestly can sit here and say I am ashamed of that. He was a lot better than anyone my party ran against him. If Giuliani is half the man that Ronald Reagan was, then we would be well served to have him as President....and the more I hear about Hillary, the sicker I feel. If the choice comes down to Giuliani vs. Clinton, I'm either going to vote for Rudy or not at all.

Posted by: MikeB | February 26, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Rudy's just following the G. H. W. Bush Rule - Whatever it takes! (to get The Bases' vote)

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 26, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Travis, HEAR, HEAR!

Posted by: Truth Hunter | February 26, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"The Republican party is the party of the people," said Giuliani. "The Democratic Party is the party of government."

The truth is.... The Republican party is the party that wants to meddle in every aspect of your personal life, especially the bedroom, and is for corporations... the "people" they are for are illegall immigrants.

The Democratic Party had a far, far smaller government under Clinton.

Old labels no longer apply. Rudy needs an update, retread or whatever. Otherwise he'll be trampled in the debates.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | February 26, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I can see why a candidate like Giuliani who is the epitome of a RINO might seek to "embrace" Ronald Reagan. The GOPpers have canonized RWR to an amazing degree, considering all that they have to ignore from his tenure, such as Lebanon barracks bombing, the dramatic increase in size of government, the enormous budget deficits, the complete lack of actual conservative accomplishments, Iran/Contra, etc. But Reagan at least paid lip service to "conservative principles;" Giuliani doesn't even do that. I can't imagine how he thinks he's going to get the nomination based entirely on this vague idea that he did something great following 9/11.

Posted by: Iva Norma Stitts | February 26, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

He's just another puppet of the far right. All the republican candidates are. Too bad. I remember a time when, though I was not a republican, I at least thought they stood for something. Now every one of them is completely emasculated, begging for crumbs from some petty tyrant fatcat TV preachers.

How can they face down Osama bin Ladin when they can't even stand up to the mullahs Falwall and Dobson?

Posted by: Travis | February 26, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please go to:

Rudy Giuliani opens his own bank

By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Aug 17, 2006, 00:24

Momma mia! I thought Citibank advertised, "The Citi never sleeps." But no, it's his honor, the Sheriff of America, who quietly opened Giuliani Capital Advisors, a 100-person investment bank on April 30, reported by the good old Daily News, the same day Rudy met with Republicans in Iowa, in search of the commander in chief gig. And here I'm just catching up with him.

This guy works faster than someone running from his Office of Emergency Management on the 23rd floor of Tower 7(Larry Silverstein's building) on 9/11/2001, pulled eight hours after the 9/11 hit. He told the 9/11 Commission he heard that Tower 7 was going down at 9:15. No wonder he was running around the street all day. He had no place to go.

Speaking of the OEM, Ray Kelly, New York's current police commissioner recently said, "If Giuliani had any sense of the threat, he would have gotten out of the City Hall area. He put it [the OEM] right next to a target. It was just unwise." Kelly, who was fired from the post by Giuliani in 1993 and reappointed by Mayor Bloomberg, shared these edgy observations in Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 by Dan Collins and Rudy critic Wayne Barrett. Check the August 10 review by David Saltonstall, Daily News senior correspondent..

Kelly also pointed out that in addition to using the site of the 1993 "terror" bombing, archaic radios kept the police and fire departments from effectively communicating on that chaotic and tragic day. Kelly suggested also that both departments should have had a unified post, so they would have been face-to-face. Maybe the mayor had had other things on his mind, which brings us back to Guiliani Capital Advisors (GCA).

Introducing Brand Rudy

Steven Oesterle, who runs GCA, had this to say, "There are a lot of high-class investment-banking boutiques out there, but we really thought there was room for another one that we could build off the back of this brand." This brand would be, er, brand Guiliani? Move over Ralph, Calvin, Tommy, and Martha. Brand Rudy is here. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom.

According to the Daily News, "court filings show Giuliani Advisors has collected millions of dollars in fees and expenses from bankrupt companies. The filings open a rare window into the former mayor's new empire, which includes a law firm and the consultancy Giuliani Partners." I'm waiting for the restaurant, Rudy's Window on the World. Maybe that would leave a bad taste.

The thing is lots of retired pols strike it rich tap-dancing in business. But the big RG (how would those initials look on your tailored broadcloth shirt) is a virtual tycoon. The presidency aside, his business interests, and I quote the News, "are vast and absorbing. Even his political trip to Iowa [was] scheduled to coincide with a paid speech in Des Moines." And guess what? "Much of Giuliani's work is confidential." I'll bet.

But a Giuliani aide, Sunny Mindel, said, "We're in the private sector. We have clients about which you may not know anything." I'll bet. But their tasks include "high-profile" work for Mexico City and the pharmaceutical industry. Don't tell me. They're synthesizing Acapulco gold for pain sufferers.

Political Buzz Good for Bizness

Meanwhile, the "political buzz is good for business, but many wonder if [Rudy] can step off the money trail and back onto the campaign trail." Hey, I'll bet it's as easy as Dick Cheney going from government to Halliburton back to government to Halliburton and George Bush skipping from Harken to the Texas Rangers to the governorship and presidency. Their respective net worth is $90 million and $20 million, that's on the books. And of course, Mr. Bush luckily skipped the insider trading rap when he dumped his Harken shares the day before Gulf 1 began and hopped from the capital gains evasion rap when he sold his $600,000 worth of Texas Rangers stock for $15 million to Rangers' owner Tom Nixon. But I digress. Or do I? Is it all one thing?

"Court papers and other filings offer a glimpse at the [Giuliani) banking business," reported the Daily News, "in which Giuliani Partners has a controlling stake." In fact, GCA's numero uno banking client seems to be Delta Air Lines. They hired the boyz last September (the cruelest month) at a monthly fee of $400,000. That's a lot of scharola (escarole, green stuff) as we used to say in the old neighborhood. It's supposedly an industry standard-fee but it still pissed off pilots who had to take pay and retirement cuts, including a retired pilot friend of mine who sent me the brand R article. But that's life they say. And Giuliani asked for $20,343 in lodging and $9,471 in business meals for his crew. That's living large, I say, on OPM (other people's money).

Banco GCA also nipped Aloha Airlines for about $3 million for work on restructuring, and ditto for U.S. Airways creditors' committee. Jesus, if I were cynical I'd say these looked almost like disguised campaign contributions, like W's $15 mill from Tom Nixon. But hey, let's be optimistic. The man's the American Dream, right. Father was a rough and tumble bartender, head-busting loan-collector in a saloon in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, did some time in Sing Sing; cousin a hijacker suspected of taking part in several murders; the family in general connected to the Family. Their rap sheet can run down your arm.

GCA in fact has 36 deals on its website with midsize companies, too. And other clients and its own investments, like 20 percent of a company selling energy-efficient lights to cities, with a $150 grand retainer for the deal. That's about what brand Rudy earned a year as mayor. And the White House gig pays $400,000 a year, the monthly fee for Giuliani Capital Advisors. Anything wrong with this picture? What does Commissioner Kelly think? Well, it turns out a couple days after his Saltonstall interview, Kelly redacted most of his criticisms. Good soldier, let the negativity go. Be positive like brand Rudy. Arm-twisting here? Nah.

Why even Bernie Kerik, another Giuliani find for police commissioner, worked his way up to head of Homeland Security and did a stint before that as security chief in Iraq, until the Daily News brought us his double affair laid bare, one with Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero (for the bad boy in him) and one with famed publishing queen Judith Regan (for the autobiographic author in him). These were followed by revelations of his accepting nearly 200 grand in work on his home, thousands in cash and gifts without disclosure, and ties to a construction company believed to be linked to the mob. A real beaut Bernie.

Keeping His Political Torch Lit

Nevertheless, New York's ex-mayor is keeping "his political torch lit." He hired John Avlon, former City Hall speechwriter as director of communications for his political action tribe. He's not letting the Republican Christian Right stop him either. He still has his urban roots, albeit a remarkably lousy record with blacks and other minorities. That should be worth something with all those nice white folks from all-white places.

Avlon, by the way, is a columnist for the New York Sun, slightly to the right of Ghengus Khan. He's even, believe it or not, a critic of Bush's domestic policy. He doesn't like his ties? Among his heroes is the model centrist (and not so model husband) Bill Clinton. What a group.

But hey, that's what it takes. Politics, as Hunter Thompson once said, is "the ultimate blood sport." You have to want to kill to win. Did Gore? Kerry? Clinton did. Bush did. Just take a look at the stolen elections. And brand Rudy, what about him? Now on his third marriage, his first to his cousin, ending in annulment, the second to the genuinely classy Donna Hanover, mother of his two children, dumped for third bride, Upper East Side cutie Judy Nathan. This after, as Bob Novak of all people said, years of public adultery. Well, who knows how it will all wash in Wisconsin. Out, out damned spots.

For sure, you can expect anything from brand Giuliani. Just click the link to the left to my last Online Journal article on brand R. It's an eye-opener.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York City. Reach him at

Posted by: che | February 26, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

rudy is not really like reagan. reagan was an actor who knew how to play a role, and while rudy had the world's most substantial role forced on him - and admittedly, played it well - his 'people skills' are spotty.

and his social politics, while drifting to the right as fast as possible, are still far to the left of ron's.

and ron was a fundamentalist who believed in armageddon, whereas rudy is episcopalian. honestly, i don't care that he has been divorced twice - not my business. (for the record, ron was divorced, too, but the convenient morality of the religious right forgave him.)

what i care about is that he is now toeing the jay-sus line as convincingly as he can, preaching to the yahoo choir and lining up with bush on foreign policy. foreign policy is the most although certainly not the only important aspect of bush and dick's reign that the next president must change.

and as ex-mayor of n.y.c., how is he qualified to make decisions about drilling in the gulf? about the alternative minimum tax? about global warming? (he may be one of the few republicans who believe something must be done about it, but how long will that last when they disagree at bob jones u.?)

Posted by: meuphys | February 26, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

While I believe the analyses on Reagan offered up here are true enough--painfully so--unfortunately that makes him the perfect saint for Rudy to invoke because if the voters are forgetful enough to remember Reagan, they'll give him a pass as well on his hubristic and grossly overrated history.

Look for the chewy goodness of St. Ron to be invoked over and over again ad nauseum as we stagger forward to 2008.

Posted by: Lamb Cannon | February 26, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please go to:

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004): an obituary

By David North

His Grace! impossible! what, dead?
Of old age too, and in his bed! ...
'Twas time in conscience he should die!
This world he cumber'd long enough;
He burnt his candle to the snuff;
And that's the reason, some folks think,
He left behind so great a stink."

Jonathan Swift, from A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General

It was inevitable that the death of Ronald Reagan, when it finally came, would be greeted with an effusion of saccharine tributes to the 40th President of the United States. But nothing could have quite prepared the innocent bystander for the eruption of dishonest, cynical and preposterously stupid propaganda with which the media and political establishment have responded to the death of Reagan. Of course, given the unending stream of bad news pouring out of Iraq and other parts of the real world during the past year, the Bush administration and its friends in the media were looking desperately for some way to change the subject and counter the increasingly depressed and surly mood in the country. The memorial celebrations of the 60th anniversary of D-Day were intended originally to create that diversion. But the timely death of Reagan has provided an even greater opportunity for an explosion of media-sponsored hero-worshipping, flag-waving and mythmaking.

One is compelled to admit that there is nothing quite so awesome to behold as the total mobilization of the American media. Since the announcement of Reagan's death on Saturday, the massive weight of this propaganda machine has been set into motion in what amounts to a vast exercise in historical falsification. The modern media version of the air brush is being applied to the years of the Reagan administration. The social misery in the United States caused by Reagan's policies; the tens of thousands of lives lost in Central America at the hands of fascist death squads funded illegally by his government; the rampant criminality in an administration that was the most corrupt in twentieth century America--all this and other similarly smelly details are being more or less ignored. One reads nothing of his defense of apartheid in South Africa, his funding of countless right-wing dictatorships, or even of his tribute to SS soldiers buried in a cemetery in Bitburg, Germany. The media strives not only to suppress any objective appraisal of Reagan's life and political career, but even to censor reference to the more unsavory elements of his administration's policies.

The aim of this unrelenting propaganda is not only to mislead and confuse, but also to intimidate public opinion, that is, to foster a sense of political and social isolation among countless Americans who despised Reagan and everything he represented, to create in their minds, if not doubt about their own judgment, then at least a sense of futility about the prospects for dissenting views in the United States.

But the entire affair--the five days of official mourning, the endless media coverage, the spectacle of a state funeral--leaves the country cold. On Monday morning, in the schools, in offices and factories, there was little indication that the citizenry felt that they had witnessed the passing of a great and significant man, that they, as individuals and as a people, had suffered a genuine loss. For those old enough to remember the death of Roosevelt, let alone that of Kennedy, the contrast could not have been starker. Yes, those men, too, were bourgeois politicians and defenders of the existing social order. But Roosevelt and Kennedy had with genuine eloquence given voice, at different stages of their political careers, to the democratic aspirations of the working class and other oppressed strata of American society; and won for themselves an affection that was deeply felt. Real tears were shed when those men died.

But for the great mass of ordinary working people, the death of Ronald Reagan is a non-event. It makes no claim whatever upon their emotions. This is not only because Reagan had been out of the public eye for a decade, since the announcement that he was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Too many working people still remember the impact of "Reaganomics" on their lives, which was entirely for the worse. Indeed, among broad sections of the working class he was the most hated president since Herbert Hoover. Even taking into account the support for Reaganism among significant sections of the middle class and more affluent layers of workers, the overwhelming popularity attributed to Reagan was largely of a synthetic character, a myth concocted by the media to endow the policies of his administration with an aura of public approval that they lacked in reality.

As the media repackages history to serve the purposes of the ruling elite, no mention is made of the fact that the 1980s was the decade that witnessed the most bitter episodes of class struggle in the United States since the 1940s. The actions taken by the Reagan administration during its first year in office--the slashing of federal funding for vital social programs and the firing of nearly 12,000 air traffic controllers who went out on strike in August 1981--outraged millions of workers. The social philosophy of the new administration found its most poignant expression in the redefinition of ketchup as a vegetable in order to justify the cutting of federal funds for school lunch programs. In September 1981, nearly three-quarters of a million workers demonstrated in Washington to protest budget cuts and the destruction of PATCO, the union of the air traffic controllers. An even larger demonstration took place in Washington in 1983. Virtually every industry was shaken by bitter and often violent strikes as workers fought back against the class war policies of the Reagan administration.

For the rest please go to:

Posted by: che | February 26, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Ronald Reagan was a joke of a president. This is the man who put Saddam Hussein in Power, gave money to Osama bin Laden, and drove us into a tremendous recession that took the internet revolution to take us out of.

Not to mention the MILLIONS of people that died of AIDS becuase he was a heartless GOP stooge who hated all gay people and wouldn't force the Red Cross to test for HIV. Watch the Frontline episode on this and you will never look at him the same again.

Posted by: Andy R | February 26, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone in politics has receded back in 'Let's do nothing tough,'" said Giuliani. How about "Let's do something smart instead of the idiocy we're engaged in now?"


Posted by: Anonymous | February 26, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"Rudy Embraces Reagan Legacy?" How about "Rudy Attempts to Embrace Reagan Legacy" or something a little less grand. I wonder what Nancy thinks of Rudy's pro-abortion/anti-abortion stance and whether his fair weather view of it is similar to Ronnie's ("abortion is murder"). Hmmmmmmmm.

"The Republican party is the party of the people," said Giuliani. "The Democratic Party is the party of government."

Rudy's first Big Lie. The R party is responsible for the largest expansion of government in what, 50 years? Clinton was a small government maniac in comparison.

"Who brought more freedom to the world in modern times than Ronald Reagan" Hmm, maybe the Soviets deserve a little credit for risking their lives to throw off their chains while all we did was deficit spend like drunken sailors for a few years?

"Everyone in politics has receded back in 'Let's do nothing tough,'" said Giuliani. How about "Let's do something smart instead of the idiocy we're engaged in now?"

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 26, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

'freedom' --that's an orwellian joke from rudy.

As mayor he was criticized for his racism, his attacks on freedom of speech; his penchant for having his critics arrested; his war on the homeless and the poor; his confiscation and forfeiture private property regardless of due process; his "bunker mentality"; his attacks on media freedom; his notion of issuing hollowpoint bullets to the police; his "work shall make you free" workfare initiative; his desire to fingerprint and take DNA samples from all newborn children;.... [his persecution of] gays, and his privatization and corporatization agendas to name but a few.

He also said this:

"Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do and how you do it."

Next up: Rudy explains how War is Peace.

Now, in his favor, he did do this:

On June 20, 2000, Giuliani announced that the City of New York had filed a lawsuit against two dozen major gun manufacturers and distributors.[42] The lawsuit was made moot when President Bush signed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in October 2005 which gave gun companies protection from liability.

unfortunately, Boy gave a free pass to gun companies to get away with anything they want in this country , but it does give you a sense of who rudy is... and what he ain't about -- is freedom.

Posted by: drindl | February 26, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse


Good article, but why don't more members of the media acknowledge the truth the article contains? Candidates who initially garner only about a 1% showing in the polls can come on to win. History proves this. Instead, reporters - and you too Chris - anoint the nominees or at best reduce the number to two before the first primary. Sometimes I suspect the lack of media coverage to outside the beltway candidates results from a lack of knowledge about these outsider candidates on the part of the media. Sometimes I believe I take time to learn more about the candidates than reporters and I must ask myself how do these people get jobs with the networks and big city papers. Tom Vilsack was an example of a candidate ignored by the press and Bill Richardson is a close second. Chris you and the press corps do America no justice by doing the bidding of a Senator Obama or Clinton.

Posted by: Troy | February 26, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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