More campaign troubles for guiliani
Rudy Giuliani is back on the front pages of the New York City
tabloids, thanks to a juicy scandal straight out of junior high. There's
the misplaced binder.
There's the list of serious crushes. There are allegations of
treachery and deception. But however sexy the mystery, the memo itself
isn't especially eye-popping.
The key vulnerabilities it points out sordid details from Giuliani's
three marriages and the clientele of his private security business,
Giuliani Partners. Were already well-known to the former New York
mayor's potential opponents. Indeed, Giuliani may well have to worry
more about five key vulnerabilities the purloined memo left out:
The real problem for Giuliani isn't the missing binder itself, it's
that it went missing in the first place. Giuliani's candidacy, after
all, will be centered around his expertise in security, order and
efficiency. "It's hard to say you're staying up all hours thinking about
every unplugged hole in the homeland-security infrastructure when you
can't even keep track of your own documents," said one Republican
strategist who asked not to be identified because he has yet to
affiliate with a presidential candidate. "This looks like the Clinton
For months, some Republicans have scratched their heads over the
Giuliani camp's slow response to charges he can't run in culturally
conservative primary states. They've also marveled over his team's lack
of concern over the potential political trouble waiting in Giuliani
Partners' client list.
Some in the party have wondered if this laissez-faire attitude
suggests Giuliani isn't really serious about his presidential run.
Others see a more sinister explanation: arrogance. In the eyes of some
Republicans, Giuliani is banking too heavily on his 9/11 performance to
shield him from intense personal scrutiny.
This could prove a fatal error. "Bernie Kerik thought he was Teflon,
too," said one Republican strategist, recalling Giuliani's 9/11 police
commissioner whose nomination to head the Department of Homeland
Security was torpedoed by allegations of personal and financial
In his first year out of office, Giuliani earned some $8 million in
speaking fees alone and has taken much more on top of that through work
for Giuliani Partners around the globe.
His zeal for big paychecks is hardly unusual: many long-term public
servants cash in upon their return to the private sector, particularly
those with large child-support and alimony bills. But unlike most
ex-politicians, Giuliani has had the New York gossip press breathlessly
trumpeting every celebrity-filled dinner he's attended and many of the
glittering gifts he's lavished on his new bride, Judith Nathan.
Operatives in both parties have kept close tabs on Giuliani's
fabulous life outside the mayor's mansion.
This could spell trouble, since "America's mayor" has always run on
his Regular Guy appeal.
One of Giuliani's key strengths as a candidate is the notion he can
attract the kind of voters who don't normally consider Republican