The more that I read and learn about Rudy Giuliani’s history, especially as it relates to the Bernard Kerik scandal, the more convinced I am that he is unfit for the Presidency. Not only that, but his Presidency could potentially do irreparable damage to the Republican party. His liberal social stances (which don’t trouble me as much as they do most conservatives), the likelyhood of an extremely harsh foreign policy, and his continued ability to be drawn into scandal after scandal are a recipe for disaster for the GOP and America.
Yesterday, Time published an article by Michael Duffy titled, Rudy Giuliani’s Kerik Problem. This is more than a problem, it is a train wreck. Here are some troubling passages from the piece:
The promotion would make Kerik the No. 2 man at the agency overseeing the city’s prisons and lockups. Kerik balked, worried about his qualifications, but Giuliani insisted. “Just do this,” the mayor said. “Do what I’m telling you.” Relenting, Kerik agreed, but as he tells the story in his autobiography, what happened next was a little creepy. “In this dark sitting room, one by one, the mayor’s closest staff members came forward and kissed me. I know the mayor is as big a fan of The Godfather as I am and I wonder if he noticed how much becoming part of his team resembled becoming part of a Mafia family. I was being made. I was now a part of the Giuliani family, getting the endorsement of the other family members, the other capos.”
Obviously the most troubling aspect of the precedeing paragraph was the staff members being brought into kiss Kerik. It continues:
The call was the most important Giuliani had to make. And so the choice of Kerik and the relationship between the two men raise legitimate questions about how Giuliani would perform as commander in chief: Does he choose his team members for their competence or for their obedience? Does he prize loyalty at the expense of ethics? Or does he now see in his relationship with Kerik clear lessons about how he rewarded and promoted those around him?
Loyalty isn’t just any virtue for Giuliani; in his memoirs he called it “the vital virtue.” That’s an interesting plug from a man who has been married three times and informed one of his ex-wives that their marriage was over at a press conference. Loyalty, an attractive virtue in friendship, is an alarming one in politics, when faithful cronies are promoted in public service simply because they show fealty to the boss.
This is what is most troubling. While loyalty is important, it is not everything. There are times when circumstances dictate that loyalties be split in order to do the right thing. It appears that Giuliani lacks this ability.
Additionally, this is the exact problem that President Bush has had, and it has cost him and the country dearly. What I see from Giuliani is essentially a less level-headed and quicker to the trigger Bush. I think he will simply be a more hard-core extension of the Bush presidency, and that would be terrible. (Note: I think Pres. Bush has done a good job as President and I do support him, however, I also think that it would be healthy for the country to have a change of pace, hence why I like Mitt).
Giuliani also has a problem of being able to give credit where credit is due and, like Bush, listening to dissenting opinons. Essentially, Rudy surrounds him self with “yes-men” who will tell him what he wants to hear.
Giuliani has never been famous for tolerating dissent or sharing credit. His assistants in the U.S. Attorney’s office had a tart nickname for the people Giuliani often promoted: they were called “the Sure-Rudys,” guys who would echo the boss’s instincts and decisions no matter their wisdom — as in “Sure, Rudy.” The Sure-Rudys weren’t very smart, a former assistant said, but they would reliably tell Giuliani he was right.
I don’t think I need to tell you how this would be detrimental in the White House. We already saw some of this in 2003 regarding WMDs. At least now we have Petraeus, Gates, and Mukasey; all of whom seem to not be afraid to say what they think. Conversely, expect a Giuliani administration to be full of incompetent “Sure-Rudys”.
Finally, there are indications that Giuliani was aware of or at least was suspicious of Kerik’s antics all along:
There is some evidence that Giuliani had at least a hint of his top cop’s darker connections. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the man who oversaw the vetting of Kerik to be police commissioner in 2000 was aware of Kerik’s ties to Interstate Industrial. According to his notes, the investigator, Edward Kuriansky, briefed both Giuliani and his chief counsel on the matter. Giuliani told a state grand jury last year that while he recalled Kuriansky’s briefing, he had no recollection of hearing about Kerik’s relationship with the firm or its principals.
What I see in all of this is the makings of an extremely corrupt Presidency. One which would prove to be disasterous for America and worse for the GOP. The GOP, of all groups, should be shunning corruption in all its forms considering its recent history.
If the final race ended up being between Clinton and Giuliani, we will have a choice between two people with very scary and shady backgrounds and the makings for guaranteed corruption in the White House. So how do I vote in that circumstance? Probably 3rd party while hoping Hillary wins. Why? Because she will be beatable in 2012, and her replacement will hopefully be one of good conservative credentials that I can be proud of. If Giuliani wins, he will not win a second term and we will be guaranteed a Democratic president in 2012. That’s not what I want. I would rather suffer through 4 years of Clinton than through 12 years of corruption and socialist policies. There are enough great candidates running for President on the GOP side, why choose the one with the most baggage and penchant for mafia-style leadership? I, for one, am backing Romney, but McCain, Thompson (though a disaster in his own right), and Huckabee also have the ability to be good Presidents without destroying the country and the party. Think about it.