Skip to comments.Was Giuliani a Bum on 9/10/01?
Posted on 02/12/2007 7:39:47 AM PST by presidio9
Today Peggy Noonan makes a glancing reference to something I've been meaning to write about for a while with respect to Rudy Giuliani:
On 9/10/01 he was a bum, on 9/11 he was a man, and on 9/12 he was a hero. Life can change, shift, upend in an instant.
Noonan is over dramatizing for effect, of course, but a while back I got an email from a self-described liberal in NYC saying much the same thing - namely, that in the mythical afterglow of Rudy's performance on 9/11 people have forgotten that (to paraphrase my emailer's formulation) "on September 10 Rudy couldn't have been elected dog catcher in New York City."
So how much truth is there to the claim that Giuliani was a bum on 9/10? Not much, though I guess that depends on what criteria you use - not to mention taking into account the ideological make up of the registered voters iof both parties in New York City responding to surveys. A general answer is that before 9/11 Rudy was pretty darn well-respected, though not necessarily so well liked.
Six days before September 11, Quinnipiac recorded Rudy's job approval rating among 303 New York City likely Democratic primary voters at 42% approve and 49% disapprove.
Six weeks earlier, on July 25, 2001, Quinnipiac released a more detailed tab of Rudy's approval rating among a larger sample of 913 New York City registered voters:
****** **** Tot Rep Dem Ind Wht Blk Hisp Men Wom Approve 50 86 41 54 63 25 43 56 46 Disapprove 40 12 48 34 28 63 45 37 42
Quinnipiac notes that Rudy's 50-40 job rating had been "unchanged for months." His favorable/unfavorable rating among all voters in the survey, however, was 39% favorable, 36% unfavorable, and 23% mixed opinion.
Even though it's further back and thus a bit less relevant to the discussion, another Quinnipiac survey in June of 2000 provided an even clearer picture of New York City voters' "respect-but-not-love" relationship with Mayor Giuliani:
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's approval rating has bounced back to 49 - 45 percent among New York City voters, his highest level in more than 18 months and a 24-point turnaround since April, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
The Mayor's highest ever approval rating was 74 - 23 percent in a February 11, 1998, poll by the independent Quinnipiac University. It stood at 60 -33 percent November 18, 1998. By April 19, 2000, his approval was a negative 37 - 57 percent, his lowest ever.
New York City voters approve 53 - 41 percent of the Mayor's handling of crime, and give him a negative 34 - 54 percent for his handling of education. He also gets a negative 21 - 68 percent rating for his handling of race relations.
Life in New York City has gotten better since Giuliani became mayor, according to 62 percent of New Yorkers, while 15 percent say it has gotten worse and 19 percent say it has remained the same.
"Now that he's out of the Senate race, is Mayor Giuliani on the rebound? This is the first positive approval rating for him since the Amadou Diallo case in February, 1999," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"New Yorkers see their Mayor as a strong leader, and a big majority say life has gotten better since he moved into City Hall, but they still don't see him as a kinder, gentler Mayor."
White voters approve of the Mayor 64 - 30 percent, while black voters give the Mayor a negative 13 - 83 percent rating and Hispanic voters give the Mayor a 40 - 49 percent rating.
Looking at Giuliani's personal characteristics, New York City voters say:
* 80 - 17 percent that he can get things done; * 27 - 68 percent that he has a likable personality; * 74 - 23 percent that he has strong leadership qualities; * 48 - 45 percent that he is honest and trustworthy; * 26 - 68 percent that he is sympathetic to the problems of the poor; * 32 - 60 percent that he works well with other political leaders.
Voters give the Mayor a 41 - 38 percent favorability rating, with 20 percent mixed and 1 percent saying they don't know enough to form an opinion. This is up from a negative 35 - 52 percent favorability rating April 19.
On one hand, discussion of what New York City voters thought about Giuliani prior to 9/11 is irrelevant to trying to speculate how folks in Iowa or New Hampshire will view him as a post 9/11 presidential candidate. On the other hand, despite ideological differences there is some universality to human nature, and history does often provide clues to the future.
Furthermore, in some ways this quick look back at Giuliani's past bolsters his over all case to both Republicans and to the country at large which is, in a nutshell: "you don't have to like me or even necessarily agree with me, but I'm a sonofabitch who gets things done." Then again, glancing at Rudy's past does make you question, as a prominent Democratic strategist said to me the other day, whether Giuliani's tough, pugilistic, New Yorker attitude is going to wear well over a long campaign with caucus goers in a place like Iowa.
I would not say he was a bum. He would have been reelected mayor if he'd been on the ballot.
Agreed. SOME people hated Giuliani, of course, but even before 9/11 he was famous all over as the guy who helped clean up New York.
Personally I like the guy but that doesn't make him presidential material.
I was growing disenchanted with Rudy's behavior as Mayor prior to September 11th...but a "bum"?
Nope. Anybody with a brain remembered Dinkins and knew exactly what a "bum" was.
Yep, the thugs, crooks and leeches hated him!
If I remember correctly, you were living in New York City back then (as was I). Sure the press had turned on him by then, but what was not to like about him? Compare him to Dinkins and Bloomberg, and you appreciate how hard the job was BEFORE 9/11 and how excellent he was at it. I don't want Rudy Giuliani to be president, but he may have been the best mayor NYC ever had.
Yep, the Democrat base hated him!
Great on Seinfeld; terrible on SNL.
That he DID do.
As far as hero... not by a long shot. The hero's on 9/11 exist... but a majority of them lost their lives becoming one. Giuliani was merely a steady hand... one of many in a terrible debacle... no more a hero than a king.
You're getting your political opinons from Village Voice senior editors these days? Why not turn your allegiance over to Hillary right now?
Using the revered term "hero" for a political opportunist like RINO-rudy irks the sh*t out of me.
TRUE heroes are those selfless individuals, like our military personnel, our policemen, and our firefighters, who put their very LIVES on the line on a regular basis so that others may live.
RINO-rudy is nothing more than a career politician that has made a VERY GOOD (better than he deserves) living sucking off the hind teet that is the forced (at the end of a government gun barrel) RAPE (taxation above and beyond what is actually necessary) of citizens hard-earned money.
Using the term "hero" for a northeastern-corridor inner-city liberal RINO like rudy, is almost as bad as rudy's fellow gun-grabbing scumbag, chuckie schumer, saying that he has "served his country" (as an F'ing POLITICIAN?!) for X number of years. He throws that term about as if HE has put HIS life on the line for others, like our brave men and women of the armed forces.
What a SAD joke.
ANYONE who believes EITHER of these liberal butt-buddies is good for AMERICA, is a FOOL.
Rudy's track record was always one of being the storm in the face of calm then being the face of calm in a big storm...
I disagree. This city was in the midst of some serious Rudy fatigue, tired of his messy personal life.
On 9/10, he was a lame duck looking for a legacy.
You remember correctly. Guess I should've qualified things further.
I was growing disenchanted with Giuliani versus "earlier Giuliani". I felt he was growing bored and over-reaching into certain areas that he didn't need to.
That said I remember, and remembered then, well what he did for the city after the Dinkins disaster. I'd make Rudy "Mayor for life" if I could.
Giuliani earned the title hero for being the son of a convicted mobster who faced down death threats and put other mobsters in jail.
If you remember, there was a lot of support at the time for scrapping democracy and extending his term.
His personal life had very little (if anything) to do with "Rudy fatigue." Let's look at the context, a tough-nosed and fiscal conservative mayor in liberal NYC. Not the suburbs, liberal NYC. When faced with a crime crisis the libs were happy to bring in a law and order salvation, but once the problem was solved then many of them were going back to their old ways, wanting someone to pursue more liberal agendas. Plus when times are good people have a natural inclination to start taking things for granted and getting restless for change. The same way the UK dumped Churchill after WWII and the US gave Bush 41 sky-high ratings after the Gulf War but then voted him out soon after.
I was in north Jersey when he was running for Senate, and he was in the lead before he dropped out. If he had a 40% approval in NYC in 8/01 (and remember that was a prety much a low ebb in the ups and downs, GOP approval ratings always go up as elections near and voters are faced with just 2 choices) then it means he would easily win statewide or nationally, given how liberal NYC is. Virtually all of those with "Rudy fatigue" felt that he was too conservative, not too liberal.