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Wednesday 25 May 2011

Rudy Awakening

Those seeking the Republican Party nomination for the 2012 Presidential election have mostly now declared, save the remote possibility that king of comb-over Donald Trump might reconsider the wise decision to spend more time with his hairspray. There is, however, the outside possibility of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani clambering aboard at the last minute.

And with this news comes the apparent disconnect between grim reality, and what some pundits want to see: Giuliani is not the universally popular and credible figure that some right leaning commentators believe. I’ll go further: finding a liberal leaning critic of him who in the past has caused Giuliani serious discomfort has been very, very easy.

The source of the hot tip that Giuliani may be about to declare came from long-time colleague Rep. Peter King of New York, the news being faithfully reported not only in the Washington Post by Chris Cillizza, but also in the Maily Telegraph by USA editor Toby Harnden. And both contributors ought to know better than trot out this line without first engaging brain.

Giuliani built up a lot of political capital from the coincidence that he was in office when the al-Qaeda franchise declared war on the USA on September 11, 2001. But his constituency does not extend far beyond New York City, as an abortive attempt to secure the Republican nomination in 2008 showed. Many in the party are suspicious of Giuliani’s more Liberal past.

And that critic I mentioned is about to return to the airwaves: now at Al Gore’s Current TV, Keith Olbermann has been merciless in his lambasting of Giuliani, not least over characterising the latter’s 2007 speech about “Republican Offense and Democrat Defense” as “Vote Democrat and die”. Olbermann dedicated a full throttle “Special Comment” to giving Giuliani’s remarks the full treatment.

It won’t get any easier for Giuliani when Countdown returns, either: Olbermann’s recollection of the first time he met Giuliani when at ESPN is a must-read (most recently HERE), and it will be referenced again and again if the former mayor decides to run, as will his implicit rubbishing of Ronald Reagan’s memory, which earned him a “Worst Person” award.

Or perhaps Giuliani will think back to 2008, recall that it took around 30 million Dollars to get him just one delegate, and think better of it.

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