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.
It has nothing to do with what you or I want to think about. I don't like Giuliani's politics any more than you do, but prosecuting mobsters in New York WAS heroic. Period. He was also an excellent mayor. He would be a lousy president.
Well, Rudy was a republican and almost no Republican is going to be very popular in NY City. But Rudy was popular at one time, as mentioned he even did Seinfeld. But the change came when he was going to run for Senate against Hillary. The MSM changed from the man who cleaned up NYC to the Nazi image that the far left used to attack him. Its actually similar to the MSM's constant attacks on Bush. Any hint of a scandal and the press attacked, even if it had to make it up.
Still, he would have won if he hadn't gotten prostate cancer, because he would have destroyed her in the debates.
Giuliani doesn't profit off of 9/11. He profits off of his name, and the fact that his leadership strategies were remarkably effective in NYC after a lot of people had basically written this city off.
Yeah... but he canned Lloyd Braun.
Yeah... but he canned Lloyd Braun.
Not that there's anything wrong with that................
"should be pointing out what is happening in upstate New York now and what happened in New Orleans after Katrina."
Katrina showed the corruption of the LA local and state governments.
However, dealing with 12ft of Snow is quite different than being under 12+ft of Water.
He was a gun-grabbing statist on all three days.
But after enough Liberals had been mugged, and their streets under a foot or so of dogcrap, and the homeless interrupting Woody Allen at Elaine's, they turned to Rudy.
Guy from Brooklyn. Manhattan College,unfashionably the most thorough educational institution in the country. He cleaned the place up, but he wasn't touchy-feely enough for your basic Leftist New Yorker (people so stupid, they think Don Imus is a cowboy). So after he got the place barely livable again, they turned on him.
Rudy is a tough guy, who doesn't like giving credit to anyone else, and has been known to get rough to get his way. The city's power brokers also don't care much for Catholics, except in the Police and Fire Department. So basically they couldn't wait to get rid of this embarassingly efficient egocentric guy.
Now they got Bloomberg, and the dogcrap is piling up and the homeless are back squatting in Elaine's window. Give it 5 years, and they'll go looking for another Rudy, but they won't like him, either.
At least we can agree on the most important point.
Rudy is about as Catholic as Ted Kennedy or Nancy Pelosi. BTW, the city has had several Catholic Mayors. The state also had a Catholic Senator and a Catholic Governor when Giuliani was elected. I'm guessing that Clinton is NY's first Methodist Senator.
Excuse me, but that's distinction without a difference. If not for 9/11 his name would be worth squat.
As some have posted and as I recall from reading the NY newspapers (plural) - he couldn't get elected dog catcher on 9/10/01. He wasn't a 'bum', but he wasn't exactly loved by the majority on NYC residents either.
As to his 'leadership strategies' - that's irrelevant as the comparison is always to Dinkens or the jerk in New Orleans. The fact is everything Rudy did to clean up NYC, mayor Richie Daley did the same in Chicago, maybe even better.
If not for prostate cancer, he would have been NY's senator on 9/11. What's your point? We are all products of circumstances. He doesn't spend a lot of time talking about 9/11 in the speeches he gives. The left has created that myth to form the argument you are making, and it is simply not true. Attack him for being a social liberal, but cut back on the ignorant accusations. Chicago, and certainly not New Orleans do not even BEGIN to present the challenges that NY does. Several political commentators have said that Mayor of NYC is the second hardest job in politics after President, and they were saying that before 9/11.
I've always found tinsel to be distracting.........
Pataki and Cuomo were both Catholics of a sort, of course, but that WAS less of a handicap when running statewide, as beyond NYC, NYS was Catholic, Italian, and Republican to some significant degree. Mario always had NYC voting for him, Pataki did not. And now there's Spitzer. NYC all the way. And you've got Hillary and Schumer ... replacing Damato, Cuomo, Moynihan, and Pataki.
Speaking in embarassingly ethnic sheer numbers, the Hispanics, African-American Americans, and Jews of New York City and environs now outnumber any other voting blocks in the state. Throw in Italian and Irish union people, and it's pretty darn near over for the GOP in NYS. Frankly, I didn't think Rudy had a chance of beating Hillary in NYS. Of course, he would have done better than Lazio. So would my favorite hunting dog. But not that much better!
On 9/10, Rudy was a RINO, a label that has been used so often on FR, it has almost lost its meaning. Rudy was truly a Republican in Name Only on 9/10. On 9/11, Rudy was a leader whose party affiliation was at the time entirely irrelevant. And now after, 9/12 Rudy somehow is being taken seriously as a REPUBLICAN candidate for President. Life can change in an instant, but one's politics do not change instantaneously and Rudy is still a RINO, even if RINOs have become so ubiquitous as to become a cliche.
You forgot to mention that the first Catholic to make a serious bid for the presidency was an Irish Governor of New York. Rudy was tied with Clinton right when he was taking the most heat for shacking up with homos and marrying Judi Nathan. He would have wiped the floor with her in the debates, and that would ahve been that.
BTW, NYC remains mostly Catholic. The city remains mostly Catholic. Of 8.5mm residents, there are 2.5mm hispanics, 800,000 Italians, 700,000 Irish, 350,000 Poles, and 100,000 Philipinos, nearly all of whom are Catholic. That is before you count the smaller percentages of other nationalities who are also Catholic.
I seriously doubt that you even knew who Rudy Giuliani WAS on 9/10/01