Skip to comments.Giuliani in a dress: Will voters care?
Posted on 04/15/2007 10:01:03 AM PDT by Ol' Sparky
Giuliani in a dress: Will voters care?
By SARA KUGLER
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
NEW YORK -- It is difficult to shock New Yorkers, yet Rudy Giuliani teetered close to the line when he sauntered onto a stage wearing a platinum-blond wig, a face full of makeup, dainty white gloves and a frilly pink gown filled out in all the right places.
His appearance at an annual political roast was exactly 10 years ago, and at the time, the idea of the tough-talking mayor in a busty ball gown raised eyebrows but was mostly accepted as a good joke - adhering to an unwritten rule for the shenanigans that take place at the roast, known as the Inner Circle dinner.
Shortly after winning re-election that year, Giuliani took his feminine side to a national audience. While hosting "Saturday Night Live," he appeared in one skit as a bosomy, gray-haired Italian grandmother in lipstick and a flowered housedress, with stockings pulled halfway up his calves.
Now that Giuliani is running for the Republican presidential nomination, experts and political observers are wondering whether those well-photographed and widely documented performances - and others - could damage his campaign. Some say conservatives won't get the joke and will be turned off by what they see as yet another peek at Giuliani's exotic, big-city liberal side.
Political observers say many voters associate a macho demeanor with Giuliani's post-Sept. 11 image as a strong national leader in a time of crisis - an image that could lose its power if dressed in stockings and dancing the cancan.
Yes, there was another year when he wore fishnets and did high kicks with the Rockettes.
"People think of him as a leader and a tough guy, and he has this image as somebody who tamed the city of New York and made the trains run on time, and seeing him dressed up like a girl would run contrary to all of those things," said political science professor Neal Thigpen of Francis Marion University in South Carolina.
South Carolina has one of the nation's earliest presidential primaries next year, and as the first Southern contest, it could set the stage for the region.
With conservative voters largely dominating presidential primaries, some experts say the footage of Giuliani cavorting about in women's wear could significantly damage his chances there and throughout the South. The images are already showing up on the Internet, including a mock campaign commercial on the popular video-trading site YouTube.
"You get out in more sophisticated places of the country, where they know Giuliani and they like him and they know about some of his antics, it's not going to be any surprise, but down here where they've never seen that kind of thing, it could do him some damage," Thigpen said.
But others say the gender-bending gags won't matter.
In Nevada, another state with an early caucus, Republicans would be unfazed by the image of Giuliani in women's clothing, said Heidi Smith, chairwoman of the Republican Party in Washoe County.
Giuliani impressed Reno citizens in a campaign appearance there last month that included a trip to Costco during which he mingled with shoppers, posing for photographs and signing autographs.
"That meant more than seeing him in drag," Smith said. "If he wants to wear a dress, who cares?"
Giuliani's first drag appearance, in 1997, featured a breathy Marilyn Monroe impression that was followed by various other female alter-egos over the years, including one that shared a scene with Donald Trump, who groped Giuliani and buried his head between the mayoral breasts.
His other Inner Circle characters included a 1950s greaser on a motorcycle, the Lion King and the Beauty's beast.
His most famous appearance from 10 years ago is likely to be remembered this weekend when Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets into costume to dance and sing for the same charity event, as New York mayors have done for decades. David Dinkins once donned full cowboy regalia and entered the ballroom on a horse; Ed Koch wore a suit of glittering gold; and Bloomberg has ridden a mule and pretended to smoke pot.
In 1997, the New York media had fun for a few days with Giuliani's first cross-dressing experiment - the Village Voice printed a favorable review by real drag queens - but it didn't appear to hurt him politically.
A poll shortly afterward found his approval rating at an all-time high of 67 percent, and a majority of city voters said they enjoyed the gag. He won re-election later that year.
Perhaps New Yorkers, who are overwhelmingly Democrats by a margin of five to one, appreciated one particular line during the 1997 show, which was a spoof of the musical comedy "Victor/Victoria," in which a woman pretends to be a man pretending to be a woman.
"I already play a Republican playing a Democrat playing a Republican," Giuliani quipped.
For conservatives who already are leery of backing Giuliani because of his support for abortion rights and other positions on social issues, the feminine clothing may also remind them of his support of gays while mayor - despite the fact that the majority of cross-dressers are not gay.
Still, a poison-pen mailer or e-mail could easily imply a connection, observers say.
"I'm imagining the negative ads - they could use this as sort of an oblique reference to all of those positions," said Clemson University political scientist Dave Woodard.
Southern Baptist Convention official Richard Land said gay issues represent just one area of the problems religious conservatives have with Giuliani.
"There are so many dealbreakers for Giuliani, it's difficult to know where to start," he said.
Throughout his eight years in City Hall, Giuliani supported laws that protected gays against harassment, marched in gay pride parades, welcomed the Olympic-style Gay Games to New York City and, after his second marriage broke up, lived with two friends who happened to be a gay couple.
He does not support gay marriage, but he does not see the need to ban it with a constitutional amendment. And in a 1994 cover story with The Advocate, a national gay magazine, he condemned Pat Buchanan's speech at the Republican National Convention two years earlier during which the failed presidential candidate declared a "cultural war" against homosexuality, radical feminists, abortion rights supporters and other "liberals."
The speech, Giuliani said, "tried to narrow rather than to broaden the Republican Party. There is no reason why the party shouldn't appeal to gays and lesbians in the same way it does to all Americans."
Over the years, Giuliani's relationship with gays has not been exactly cozy - he was often heckled while marching in the city's annual gay pride parade.
Asked this month about his theatrical past, Giuliani told Fox News that it shows voters another side of him.
"I think what they'll find out about me is I enjoy having fun. I mean, I really enjoy those Inner Circles. I made them fun, and I enjoyed them," he said. "And so you're going to get a couple of things people can interpret different ways, I guess."
what’s the count now - is this the 1000th “Rudy in a dress” thread on FR.
Ten years ago?? Must be a slow news day or someone has an ax to grind.
Tis’ an interesting question but then again most people also recall Lieberman/Bush “smooch” after a Presidential address too...and look what that did to Liebermans run as an Independent? People laughed and got over it.
NO, but his support for the homosexual agenda, gun control stance, pro illegal immigration stance have blackballed him in my playbook.
I’d much rather see him in the swimsuit competition saying he is for World Peace.LOL
I would like to see the reaction here if someone discovered a photo of Thompson in a wig or a gown at some hollywood party.
Voters won’t care because they won’t be faced with the choice - Fred Thompson all the way!!!!
If a good ol' boy from TN comes out mincing in drag.....now that would be funny and curious.
He looks a lot better in a dress than the probable democrat nominee. And I don’t mean Obama.
I imagine it would be similar to Joe’s. As much as cross dressing ain’t my thing, I’m much more concerned about my candidate’s political attitudes.
I think some of the “Rudy in a dress” obsessed are turned on by the titillating tabloid tale.
....No kidding, notice the ones to make the biggest deal over this stuff is usually the liberals? Like the Lieberman/Bush smooch of 2006.
Giuliani at Gracie Mansion in 1997 dancing with gayder Howard Koeppel, one of the openly gay couple Giuliani lived with, after ditching his wife and kids to be with his mistress.
This ad with Rudy and Donal Trump is from 2000 when Rudy was mayor. Imagine the video he could get from a State Dinner in the White House.
Rudy’s love for putting on dresses is strange enough, but not neccesarily blackball material (though the Trump thing is (!DISTURBING!).
Rudy’s problem is the whole package, from jim crow gun laws, to homosexual marriage, Rudy is just an oddball.
Don’t get me wrong, Rudy makes a fine Marilynn Monroe, it’s just that I’m not sure that is what I am looking for in Republican Presidential candidate.
The photo will play well in terrorist countries. Great recruiting tool.
Pretty much says it all.
yes, and they are going to run photos of Thompson with a wife that looks like his daughter.
the difference is - people know the Rudy photos are part of a gag, a comedy skit at a fundraiser. He’s not really a crossdresser - its amazing that you actually have to post something like that on this site, but I’ll say it again - HE’S NOT REALLY A CROSSDRESSER.
OMG, that video is about all I can take.
Great for a campaign if you are a RAT.
Whirled Peas ??
Oh you mean the other one.... World Peice
When you have turned an unlivable hellhole into a sparkling, thriving center of commerce and culture, you can pretty much have your choice of wardrobe every now and then.
Rudy isnt where he is in the polls because people have yet to see him in a dress or read all of Pissant's allegedly damning posts. He's there because results talk.
It is not the dress, the dress is a symbol for the fact rudy is a dyed in the wool liberal lawyer turned politician.
The rudy in a dress is a symbol for rudy’s pro-homosexual marriage stance, pro-gun control stance, and just plain old NYC mentality.
Its positively titillating!
Could be the Worlds Piece.
I don’t have a huge problem with it, although I do think it was pretty foolish, if even for charity. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine Truman, JFK, Nixon, or RR doing the same. JFK, for example, would refuse to even wear a cowboy hat or Indian headress while campaigning.
It will have zero effect on voters and it will backfire bigtime on the democrats if they do this. How about Hillary Clinton husband photos with Monica Lewinski the intern who he had sex with in the White House inside the Oval office. The democrats will be extremely stupid if they attempt something like against Thompson, in fact I hope that they do it.
I know that Rudy Giuliani is not a corss dresser and no one here is accusing him of that. The picture of him in a dress, even as a JOKE, is still a big problem for Giuliani.
I will never vote for such a man.
But he clearly enjoyed it.
dang, peice = piece
Giuliani in Drag - Republican playing
a Democrat playing a Republican.
I hate it when that happens. You are not alone!
That said, the Inner Circle Dinner is an annual event and I have searced and searched and I can't find a single instance where Lindsey, Beame, Koch, Dinkins or Bloomberg have ever dressed in drag as part of their routine. If nothing else it shows Giuliani is a bit more reckless with his reputation than the others.
I can never get these videos to work on my computer and I have a new Dell.
HA HA HA, at times I’m to fast to hit post
rather than spell check [ego thing]
You mean spell chick? LOL
It’s on YouTube. Can you get anything there to work?
you got me on that one, I had to go back
to see what I typed.... I owe you one
I was just joking with you. I would have done the same thing.
Sometimes I use the Spell chick too.
You know, I had averted my eyes from that image so many times on the assumption that he was dancing with other cross-dressers whose crotches I had no desire to commit to memory. Looking carefully, they actually appear to be women. Are they really "Rockettes"?
They are the Rockettes and the Jockette.
Rudy IN a dress doesn’t bother me.
I think he has a sense of humor about himself.
Clinton UNDER a dress didn’t seem to bother the Demorats.
It SHOULD HAVE.
Responsible public officials and those with a moral compass wouldn't demean their image by doing such thing.
The dress wearing was yet another attempt by RINO Rudy to impress his liberal and homosexual friends in New York City.
No doubt, we're going to be seeing these images in campaign ads and they make Giuliani an embarrassment of candidate, especially when shown side-by-side by his liberal record.
I’ve freepmailed you back. No, I can’t get any videos to work for more than five seconds. It keeps stopping.
No, he is there because the vast majority of prospective Republican primary voters have no clue yet how liberal he is and because Fred Thompson has entered the race and started to campaign yet.
According to a Newsweek poll conducted February 28-March 1, "[o]nly a quarter (26 percent) of Republican voters claim to know "a lot" about the pro-choice and pro-gun-control Giuliani, while a full third (34 percent) admit to knowing little or nothing about him."
Also, a February 23-26 poll conducted for Time magazine found that 68 percent of respondents "do not know anything about Giuliani's position on gun control (47%) or think he opposes gun control (21%)."
A February 22-25 Washington Post/ABC News poll yielded similar results. Forty-six percent of respondents who "leaned Republican" indicated they would be "less likely" to vote for Giuliani after being informed that "Giuliani has been a supporter of legal abortion and gay civil unions." Of that 46 percent, nearly half -- 49 percent -- stated that given his views on gay civil unions and abortion, there would be "no chance" they would "vote for Giuliani for the Republican nomination for president."
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.