Giuliani no longer America’s Mayor

Rudy Giuliani (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Rudy Giuliani (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

He was called “America’s Mayor” after the 9/11 attacks. Calm, effective, take-charge, no-nonsense. Guiding New York City through the worst disaster it has ever faced. And the nation loved him for it.

What on earth happened to that man? Has PTSD set in? Or some sort of dementia? Or just a too-fervent desire to be back in the spotlight? How does one explain his insistence, first in private and then repeatedly in media interviews, that President Obama doesn’t love America?

At a Wednesday night fundraiser for potential GOP presidential candidate Scott Walker, Rudy Giuliani talked about the president:

I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.

Later, to deflect the racist tone of that remark, he tried to explain:

He was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people. This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.


And in different appearances on Fox News and elsewhere, he continued to attack the president for not loving America and lacking a knowledge of world history.

He returned to his criticism of the president’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month, when Pres. Obama said that during the Crusades and Inquisition people had “committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ”:

Now we know there’s something wrong with the guy. I thought that one sort of went off the cliff. … What I don’t find with Obama — this will get me in more trouble again — is a really deep knowledge of history. I think it’s a dilettante’s knowledge of history.

It’s sad, really. Either Rudy is going around the bend, or he’s incapable of understanding higher level thought. Or maybe he’s just missing the limelight. He wants “to be a part of it” again. His matter-of-fact pragmatism served NYC well in the days after 9/11, but a more intellectual world view is apparently beyond his understanding. Someone needs to give him the hook before he embarrasses himself and his party any further. Or maybe he’ll voluntarily exit stage right (certainly not left) and join Sarah Palin and Donald Trump in the wings, on the fringes of relevance.

19 thoughts on “Giuliani no longer America’s Mayor

  1. I think that Guiliani is struggling,just like a lot of Americans, with the right words to describe the actions of a President who seems to be out of step with mainstream America.Do the books he wrote [Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope] reveal the true direction he wants to take America? Is he/was he a person who is eligible to become a US President by US Constitution standards? At best he will leave us with more questions than with real concrete answers!

    1. I guess it depends a lot on what or who you consider to be mainstream America. I’m not wild about some of the things he’s done, but he’s more in step with my thinking than any but the most moderate Republicans. I only read part of Audacity of Hope and don’t remember anything about it. As for his eligibility to be president, I think the doubt being cast by certain elements has more to do with their political leanings and personal prejudices than with Obama’s eligibility.

      1. It is my personal opinion that main stream America is represented by the people who believe that when DHS fundung runs out,paychecks STOP for all Congressmen,Senators,until they refund the program. Question: Why was Henry Kissinger not eligible to run for President of The United States?Was it for Constitutional reasons or was it because of political leanings and personal prejudices?
        Thank You Pied Type for causing me to think and rethink when I want to post.

      2. While it wouldn’t hurt my feelings for Congressional paychecks to stop when they fail to approve necessary government funding, I’m not that concerned about funding for the terribly bloated DHS. Cutbacks there should have come years ago, and instead the agency keeps growing and getting more and more intrusive. (I do feel sorry for any DHS employees who, through no fault of their own, might not get paid on time.) As for Kissinger, I don’t know how he is relevant here, but he was born in Germany of German parents. Ineligible per the Constitution. Simple as that.

      3. For what it’s worth, I agree with PT about the DHS. It is a massive and unnecessary bureaucracy that the Bush administration created to help dampen public fear of 9/11. Doing this is a classic response of a government that doesn’t know what else to do in a crisis. The same thing happened when they also created the Directorate of National Intelligence – more bureaucracy and less efficiency.

        Another knee-jerk response of feckless government is to wrap itself in patriotism and go to war. They did that too, but that’s another story . . .

    2. @ John Steidley,

      “Out of step with mainstream America”? I hear this coming from the right a lot, but the complain is seldom accompanied by specifics. I suspect the problem is that, as in the current Oklahoma legislature for example, people are upset by the notion that America is not perfect. By talking about this, the president is actually doing the opposite of what you suggest, i.e., not giving us “concrete answers”. Just one example: fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, its roads, bridges, water and sewer mains, and electric grid, all of which poses enormous risk. Only the party of “NO” stands in the way.

      1. You’re right, Jim. The GOP would rather block Obama at every turn (and have said as much) than let him have the tiniest “victory” and actually get something done. And their “American exceptionalism” attitude is why so many people overseas hate us. It’s arrogance, pure and simple. (Imagine Putin crowing constantly about Russian exceptionalism … )

        We had a fight here over AP history. Same as in Oklahoma, but on a smaller scale. It was in one school district, and the students walked out, demonstrated, marched, until the panel in charge of the decisions was changed to include student input. To the students’ everlasting credit, they were insisting their history be honest, true, factual (warts and all) and thought-provoking, not mindless, sterilized patriotic pap.

      2. Not sure the pap is infectious … no, take that back. Ignorance certainly is. Missouri better put up some border guards to make sure none of it gets in. Although if it’s airborne, you might be in danger.

  2. I’m thinking Jim might be right PT. Guiliani is sounding like some sort of Neo-McCarthy. Beating the drums of a new holy war just as the religious dingbats over here and over there want, labeling anyone who disagrees as Un-American…

    1. I’ve no patience for conservatives who think if you don’t wear a flag pin in your lapel and carry a Bible, you aren’t a patriotic American. They’re a bunch of narrow-minded, self-righteous bigots, or worse.

      “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” – Sinclair Lewis

    1. Sounds like a typical NYC thug. The tough guy part got him through the 9/11 aftermath and made him tough on crime, but other than that, I find nothing admirable about him. Not anymore.

    1. Thanks. “Fringe” is where I classify him now. And you’re right, if he had just shut up after his first remarks, everyone would have forgotten by now. But he keeps talking and digging …

  3. In a perverse way, it seems some of the unwarranted personal attacks on President Obama may be a good thing in the long run. We are experiencing increased dialogue about racism, and seeing more examples of the inhumanity of prejudiced buffoons such as Guiliani. The bottom line, seems to me, it that we’ve much more work to do than many good people thought to finally wipe out bigotry in this country.

    However, I feel horrible that a good man such as President Obama has been forced to endure the slander and insults he has experienced over the past eight years. That he has done so with patience and dignity is a real tribute to him.

    1. I’m not sure we can ever completely wipe out bigotry. People will think what they think and we can’t change that (we don’t have and should never have thought police) unless maybe all the bigots die off without passing their bigotry on to their children. But what we can and should strive for is a society where bigoted speech or action is so condemned by so many that it will cease to exist.

      I, too, have hated what Pres. Obama has had to endure, although I’m sure he was prepared for it. He has indeed handled it with dignity. It’s a shame those who keep attacking him for who he is (rather than for what he’s done as president) don’t have as much dignity and self-respect. Their words say far more about them than about the president.

... and that's my two cents