The fat lady has been warming up her vocal chords since the campaign for the Republican nomination got serious. New York’s photo-op former mayor, Rudy Giuliani, came up with an unorthodox approach on winning without really trying. He basically skipped the Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina contests, while planning to prove he was the man by stomping his challengers in Florida.
Strange strategy. Didn’t work. Tonight he came in a disappointing, but predicted,distant third behind John McCain and Mitt Romney in the Sunshine State. Although "America’s Mayor" was not dressed in drag, the fat lady sang her song anyway. While I was relieved to know, for sure, that as I had satirically predicted in March of last year, there would be no "Giuliani time," I was also disappointed. Had the tough-talking, cross-dressing, two-timing former mayor of New York been a contender, I could have published his girly-girl photos here more than once.
Since he’s bowing out the race, scheduled to throw his support to McCain at the Reagan library tomorrow, I’ll only get to use the pretty photos of Giuliani all crossed-dressed up with no place to go right now. So be it.
Here’s the op-ed page column I wrote that appeared in the March 4, 2007 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Remember, satire, folks. Satire.
Daley could easily take Giuliani
May 4, 2007
BY MONROE ANDERSON
The Bush administration bungled the Iraqi and Afghanistan occupations so badly that the president's base is in a mad scramble toward that camera-ready symbol of national security: Rudy Giuliani. Even if he is a counterfeit conservative, the unannounced New Yorker is now the Republican party's front-runner, sprinting past its old media darling John McCain. A CBS News poll last week showed ''America's mayor'' with a 50 percent to 21 percent surge over America's war hero among likely GOP voters.
The only big-city mayor to be elected U.S. president was Grover Cleveland, back in the 19th century. I see no reason to tamper with that single precedent. But if the Repubs want to raise the bar by running a mayor for president, the Dems should do the same. How about this dream match-up: Time magazine's Man of the Year vs. Time magazine's Top Big-City Mayor? It would be the clash of the titans. And, when the dust settled, I'll bet it won't be Giuliani time.
Fresh off an election victory that could lead to the longest-ruling-big-city-boss entry in the Guinness Book of Records, Chicago's Richard M. Daley would clout-slap Giuliani silly in an '08 presidential smack-down. Just elected to his sixth term in office, Daley strong-armed some love from all quarters and crannies of his Midwest metropolis. In comparison, Giuliani was saved by NYC's quaint term-limit law. Had he been allowed to run for a third term, New Yorkers would have run him out of office. On Sept. 10, 2001, Giuliani was a little more popular than a snaggle-toothed plain Jane, with a running cold sore, selling smooches at a county fair booth. The next day, after Osama bin Laden's terrorists struck and the international media descended on the Big Apple, the scandal-infested, lame duck-mayor's star fatefully rose again. Thanks to days of photo-ops at funerals, Giuliani morphed into the poster child of American leadership.
It's easy to look at Daley and Giuliani and decide the two are alike. After all, Daley is one of the nation's most Republican Democrats and Giuliani is one of the nation's most Democratic Republicans. This the New Yorker knows. So with all deliberate guile, he has started to distinguish himself by shifting the nation's right-wing concerns away from family values -- with good cause. Giuliani has embraced gay rights, and he's on the record as pro-choice and anti-guns. There isn't a dime's worth of difference in Daley's position. The boring Chicagoan distinguishes himself by remaining married and faithful to the mother of his grown children. Giuliani is on his third wife and who-knows-which mistress.
Then there's foreign affairs. Neither mayor has real experience in that arena. Nor have they demonstrated disaster preparedness. As the Twin Towers crumbled, New York's firefighters and police couldn't communicate with each other because Giuliani had failed to ensure coordination between the two departments. And a Homeland Security report released two months ago gave Chicago low marks on its readiness.
It doesn't matter. As mayor, Giuliani unleashed his police force to reduce crime. Its success made national news. Four of New York's finest cornered Amadou Diallo, a black immigrant from Guinea, in the vestibule of his Bronx apartment building. The plainclothes cops fired 41 shots at him. Unarmed and not a suspect of any crime, Diallo died while trying to go home. Two Harlem teenagers, Robert Reynoso and Juval Green, were luckier. They were only wounded when New York police opened fire on them as they ran down the street. The cops thought they had a gun. They had no gun.
Daley is tougher than Giuliani. His police department has made sure that more than one unarmed Chicagoan has suffered the plight of Diallo, Reynoso and Green. As the Cook County state's attorney, Daley couldn't hear, didn't see and wouldn't read reports that one of Chicago's finest, Lt. Jon Graham Burge, was torturing suspects into making confessions.
A Daley or Giuliani in the White House would make al-Qaida think twice. With a president who has demonstrated his willingness to allow innocent people shot or tortured to keep the peace, a foreign terrorist would have to be a psychopath and suicidal to tread on us.