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.
People forget that New York City had grown pretty tired of him by September of 2001 -- mainly because his most important achievements dated back several years by that point, and they were being overshadowed by other issues at the time.
Oh, I agree. The left felt that he had too many "scandals", mostly involving the police.
Doesn't change the fact that before 9/11 he would not have been re-elected mayor, even if eligible.
Correct. Back then, the biggest critics of Giuliani were Al Sharpton and the NY Times.
I don't think this was the case at all. I seem to remember that his poll numbers were surprisingly low in that hypothetical Senate match-up.
Just keep him in your northeastern inner-city "Peoples Republic" and let him keep doing what he was doing, since the sheeple there don't mind his liberal, jack-booted-thug ideas, policies, and methods.
He has no business being a REPUBLICAN president (or even a dem - which he is more like - president).
Since he left office, Giuliani has leveraged his image as "America's mayor" to his decided financial advantage and in ways that belie his man-of-the-people persona.
He commands $100,000 for a speech, not including expenses, which his star-struck clients are happily willing to pay. In one speech last year at Oklahoma State University, Giuliani requested and received travel on a private Gulfstream jet that cost the school $47,000 to operate. His visit essentially wiped out the student speakers annual fund.
Like other high-priced speakers in the private sector, Giuliani routinely travels in style. Besides the Gulfstream, which is a standard perk on the big-time speakers' circuit, his contract with Oklahoma State called for up to five hotel rooms for his entourage, including his own two-bedroom suite with a preferred balcony view and king-size bed, in the event of an overnight stay. But he did not stay overnight.
The contract also required a sedan and an SUV, restrictions on news coverage and control over whom Giuliani would meet, how he would be photographed and what questions he might be asked.
In another speech, at a charity fundraiser in South Carolina in February 2005, Giuliani also commanded a $100,000 fee, though he donated $20,000 of it to the event. After he was criticized by a local official, he ultimately decided to donate an additional $60,000.
Giuliani reportedly received more than $200,000 for another speech, given to benefit an Australian research hospital in 2003. When it was disclosed two years later that the hospital netted only $15,000, the revelation sparked widespread criticism in Australia. Months later, after the New York Observer picked up the story, Giuliani threw his own fundraiser for the hospital.
I agree that could be a win-win.
Personally, since he's not going back to Mayor, I'd rather see him as a Senator from New York where he would be a marked improvement over anybody who is likely to be elected here.
I don't know about being a bum but the only reason he became mayor was because of Dinkins' high cholesterol.
Giuliani and Clinton were at a 41-43% dead heat before Giuliani announced that he had cancer. Interestingly, if Pataki had entered the race instead, he did better than Giuliani beating Clinton 46-41. Had Clinton lost that race, I believe that would have been the end of her.
BTW, this poll was at the height of his marital troubles. Even without 9/11, Giuliani's personal image has rebounded significantly since then.
(Mussolini made the trains run on time when no one else could)
I missed the part where somebody put a gun to OSU's head and demanded that they bring in Giuliani as a speaker. My college never had anybody of his stature, and I had a SCOTUS Justice in my class. Giuliani is not cashing in on 9/11. The speeches he gives are based on his book "Leadership," which has almost nothing to do with 9/11.
"My favorite tidbit is that he charged $100k for giving a tsunami aid speech in South Carolina in February - forking over $20k of his fee as a chartiable contribution -- when other celebrities like Clinton, George Bush I and George Clooney donated their time. The author writes it is indicative of his lack of understanding of sensitive political issues":
The former Mayor’s decision to profit from a fund-raiser for tsunami victims in a politically sensitive state is only the most vivid example of how small a role his political ambitions have apparently played in his personal calculations. At times, he has shown a willingness to trade in political capital for, well, real capital. He has given his speeches to a wide range of organizations around the world with little apparent attention to American politics. And his firm hasn’t been shy about taking on politically unpopular clients, including the owner of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester and the pharmaceutical industry.
....“I assume that the people who gave to the charity assumed their money was going to tsunami relief, not Giuliani relief,” said Howard Wolfson, the spokesman for the New York State Democratic Party. “It raises the same old questions about Mr. Giuliani’s judgment, that somehow the same standards and rules that apply to others don’t apply to him. “It’s wrong to take money for charity appearances. Mr. Giuliani ought to know that,” said Mr. Wolfson, who is also an advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton.
The media and the liberals hated him. Specifically the Clintons. I believe they went out of their way to disgrace him prior to 9/11. I remember him before 9/11 not only as the man who cleaned up NYC but also the man who told Arrafat to stay away and ordered the towing of cars owned by UN diplomats/deadbeats. I also remembered him standing up against those who called the Virgin Mary covered in dung, art. The media and the liberals were doing the same job to Rumsfeld prior to 9/11 and had to put their smear on hold for a few years.
I guess he wouldn't play well in Washington, then.
Also, someone should be pointing out what is happening in upstate New York now and what happened in New Orleans after Katrina. No calls for FEMA or government aid. Why? Not because one is white and the other black. But one does not depend on entitlements and the other does.
There is no way he'd have lost that. The NYers were moaning about the fact that there was no one to replace him, really, except Bloomberg, who no one really wanted.
There sure will.
All the SOB has done since 9/11 is PROFIT from the death of 3,000 people.
The guy's a mutt.
(No offense meant to mutts)
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.