I think a lot of people forget that before 9/11 a majority of NYC folk really disliked Giuliani. He was viewed by many as petty, vindictive and thin-skinned, and it wasn't until he showed his competence and calm in the midst of chaos that a lot of NYCers came to admire him.And
Unless he's mellowed with age, Giuliani's thin skin will not serve him well in a long, hard national campaign, particularly in those parts of the country where pushy and arrogant New Yorkers are not looked upon favorably, especially if they're "ethnic."
After 9/11 I don't think anybody doubts his ability and strength in times of crisis, but I think there are a lot of people who remember the pre-9/11 Giuliani and think that he's one of those people who should be kept in a glass container that says "open only in times of emergency."
I admit that I wouldn't vote for him because he has the soul of an autocratic statist, and that doesn't mesh with my wacko libertarianism. But, hey -- to a large extent it's those qualities that made him such an effective leader during those dark days of September '01.From an article in today's New York Times about a new anti-Rudy documentary entitled "Giuliani Time":
But my personal opinion aside, it remains true that between his sometimes abrasive style and the mini-scandal involving his wife and girlfriend, his popularity in NYC was pretty low on 9/10/01.
George Arzt, a political and communications consultant in New York City, said the documentary was a reminder that Mr. Giuliani is a far more complicated leader than the post-9/11 hagiography suggests.
"In the second term he was fighting with a lot of people, he had tense relationships, his marriage was falling apart, nothing was going right, and he was headed for political oblivion when 9/11 happened," said Mr. Arzt, once the press secretary for Mayor Edward I. Koch.
Robert Polner, a former Newsday reporter and the editor of a 2005 book of essays and articles about Mr. Giuliani, said that many Americans did not know the same man New Yorkers may recall: one who wanted to win every battle, who lashed out at his critics and who rarely ceded ground (at least in public).
"I wasn't that surprised with him in 9/11 because he was always good in a crisis," said Mr. Polner, whose book, "America's Mayor: the Hidden History of Rudy Giuliani's New York" (Soft Skull Press), was published last year. "When it was quiet in the room or a problem needed finesse, it was almost like he couldn't exist. He almost existed to manage a crisis. But there is far more to him than that."