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Giuliani: The Worst Possible Choice for President

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We've all seen Rudolph Giuliani's face splashed across our television screens (unfortunately, while some of
us were eating) as a contender for the Republican nomination to be the next president of these United States.
We've heard his nasal voice in the debates telling us to fear the terrorists, and how he is the man to protect us.
We've heard him referred to as "America's Mayor". But the fact is, the only reason that Rudy Giuliani is even
within 100 miles of the presidency is because thousands of Americans died in the city in which he happened
to be mayor. His name is well-recognized by the American public because of his face time on television in
the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. His sound bites at the time gave the impression
to the watching world that he was a caring man prepared to handle ultimate disaster and earned him the
moniker “America’s Mayor.” He is now attempting to parlay his name recognition into an aura of political
expertise and an image of being strong on national security. But is he really that man? I say NO. Giuliani is
the LAST man we want to be president, and here is why.

If we look at what he actually did before and during that tragic event he doesn’t come off so well. In fact, he
failed to provide workers at ground zero with adequate equipment, including respirators, until a full week
into the clean up. In addition, he failed to maintain the City so that it could deal with a major disaster despite
the fact of the previous attack on the World Trade Center by Islamic extremists in 1993. In 2001, New York
City firemen were without vital equipment before the events of September 11, in many cases lacking working
radios. Using the same radios that did not work at the site of the 1993 bombing resulted in poor coordination
of the rescue attempts and additional loss of life. Maybe that is why the Uniformed Firefighters Association
has come out squarely against Rudy, and the International Association of Fire Fighters is currently
mounting anti-Giuliani campaigns, accusing him of showing a “disgraceful lack of respect for the fallen”,
and saying he gave up the search for missing firefighters in order to put more resources into buried gold in
the ruins of the WTC.

Speaking of the smoldering ruins, Giuliani brilliantly chose to locate The Office of Emergency Management
in the World Trade Center complex, a known terrorist target. This office was created to coordinate efforts
between police and firefighters, but with the distraction of evacuating its headquarters, it was not able to
conduct these efforts properly. As Giuliani was warned would happen, the diesel fuel stored in that building
to run the office in an event of a power failure has been blamed for the terrible fire that caused Building 7 to
collapse after the attack. How many lives, not to mention millions of dollars, did that error in judgment
cost? The answer is unknown.

So, from an anti-terrorism viewpoint, Giuliani is a failure. But what about his experience as a mayor and in
politics in general? Maybe he has some redeeming features there? Sadly, no. As mayor he has been less
than ideal, to put it mildly. His "tough-on-crime policy" in New York City sounds good, and has fooled a lot
of people, but statistics show that the results were no greater than crime reduction programs of other major
US cities - that is, other large US cities experienced similar (or larger) drops in crime without the magic
Giuliani touch. And Giuliani's position on police brutality was indifferent at best. Both the Louima and
Diallo cases took place during his tenure and were only the tiniest tip of an enormous iceberg. In 1997 he
vetoed the creation of an independent police review board to monitor abuses by the officers. He knew,
however, that he'd have to at least appear to reign in the police force of New York City if he ever wanted to
win re-election, so he appointed a task force to recommend measures to improve community-police relations.
Yet after he had safely won a second term, Giuliani scornfully dismissed their proposals. He reduced crime
by not policing the police. But what did he offer those those very police? Nothing -he refused them pay
raises. Imagine how he'd run our nation's military.

Being a mayor of a large city like New York is a notable achievement, but it isn’t the same experience as
running a state or federal level government. Giuliani has had no real experience beyond the city level. In fact,
if elected he would be the first former mayor to be elected president without serving in a higher office. Since
when can you get elected to the highest office in the land with your major qualification being running a city?
And not even doing to good a job at that. It got to the point where by "April of 2007 it was reported by the
Daily News that Giuliani had been forced to limit his appearances in New York City due to the increasing
protests by family members of 9/11 victims, particularly police, fire and other emergency workers."

Giuliani is also a notorious flip-flopper. He has committed what is known as the "cardinal sin" of politics by
switching parties, not once but twice. He was a Democrat and an Independent in the 1970s, and a Republican
from the 1980s onward. In fact, after 9/11, he considered switching to the Conservative Party to run for
another term as Mayor! Why? Opportunity! When he sees an opportunity, he goes for it - just like now,
with his presidential campaign fueled only on 9/11 name recognition, just like how he walked into a name
partnership at Bracewell Patterson (now Bracewell Giuliani) solely on that 9/11 cachet, just like he took the
opportunity presented by 9/11 to earn himself millions in speaking and consulting fees, and so forth. Maybe
we'll get lucky and he'll flip-flop again, and decide not to run for President.

As a former mayor and current tragedy profiteer, Giuliani has little to no foreign policy experience. He did
have a chance for higher level experience when he was invited to participate in the Iraq Study Group formed
to seek a new direction for U.S. policy in Iraq. Asked to join because of his fame from his TV time for 9/11,
he gladly accepted. Yet while a member of the group he refused to attend any meetings during his two-month
tenure before quitting and being replaced by Edwin Meese. Giuliani did not explain why he wasn't interested
in living up to his commitment beyond comments about his busy schedule and that he was contemplating a
presidential run. How did he spend the time he was supposed to be with the group formulating policy on the
Iraq front? Giving highly paid speeches, fundraising, and breaking his word to some of the very people with
whom a president would have to work. This does not speak well of a man running for a position where
consensus-building is a major part of the job.

Consensus-building, in fact, is a major problem with the arrogant Mayor Giuliani - if he doesn't like you, he'll
simply shut you up. Rudy is a (proud?) recipient of “Muzzle Award,” awarded annually by theThomas
Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, as a means to draw national attention to abridgment of
free speech. "America's Mayor" has won three such such awards, including an unprecedented first awarding
of a "Lifetime Muzzle Award." He has such a poor record on free speech, that more than 35 successful
lawsuits were brought against Giuliani and his administration for blocking free speech. Imagine that on a
national scale. Bush/Cheney have a record of harassing, shutting down, and arresting protestors, but they're
small potatoes compared to Rudy.

Speaking of morally bankrupt politicians, that leads to another aspect that historically has been vital to the
electorate when choosing a candidate or electing a president - personality and personal ethics. There have
long been questions about his private sector business practices, described often as shady. Look at who he's
surrounded himself with - and the type of people he'll likely surround himself as president. He supported
Bernard Kerik, a man deluged in allegations of fraud, bribery, ethics problems, and even mob ties - to be
Secretary of Homeland Security. He also employed Kerik in his company Giuliani Partners. What other
misfits did he pick to be his "Partners"? One of them, Pasquale D'Amuro was the FBI's counterterrorism
chief before 9/11 (some job he did!). D'Amuro actually took pieces of the World Trade Center as souvenirs.
And if Kerik and D'Amuro weren't enough, Giuliani also saw fit to hire accused pedophile priest Alan Placa.
Note to potential Giuliani Partners clients - don't bring your kids to the office!

But putting his failure as Mayor and his business practices aside, some say you can judge how a man will
lead by the ways in which he conducts his personal life. If those people are correct, Giuliani has been married
and divorced multiple times, one of those times to his cousin. Yes, his cousin. If he won, that would mean he
was the first president since Franklin Roosevelt to have committed incest. The multiple marriages? There
are about 7 between him and his current wife (who is also his former mistress). And let's face it, he's a jerk.
Giuliani actually mocked a man with Parkinson’s disease during a radio broadcast. He is considered to be the
creator of the infamous “perp walk,” where an arrestee is paraded before the media as if convicted, while
frequently being released later for lack of evidence, reputation in tatters. He cheats on his wife(s) in full view
of his kids, who don't even support his candidacy. Remember the Republican outrage over Clinton's
infidelities? Giuliani himself has had numerous extramarital affairs, and notified his second wife he
intended to seek a separation from her at a press conference. He's known to have a ferocious temper and
treat subordinates harshly. He is a draft-dodger who went on to seek harsh penalties for other draft-dodgers
(in other words, a hypocrite). He's just not a good person. You wouldn't want your children around him, so
how could we let him be the public face of America?

How will he lead us on the "war front"? Into more of it, of course! He supports the Bush policy of attacking
countries who haven't done anything to us. He'd open up Abu Ghraib chapters all over the Middle East if we
let him - Giuliani is on the record supporting the use of torture in the form of waterboarding. Let's face it - the
man has no concept of what we're facing on the terrorism front - he doesn't even acknowledge the existence
of what the CIA terms "blowback" - the concept that, hey, other countries might not like what we're doing to
them and decide to strike back at us. If he ignores that most basic fact of reality, who knows what kind of
policy decisions will he make, and what kind of future quagmires will he lead America into. Do we need
another warmonger sitting in the highest office in the land? We need someone who is able to fix the mistakes
created by the Bush Administration, and to rebuild America's ruined reputation, and Giuliani is not the man to
do those things.

Let's just pretend that, God Forbid, Giuliani IS elected President. How can we be sure he'd leave after his
term was up? Giuliani actually tried to have his tenure as mayor of New York City extended, and threatened
to run again, term limits be damned, if the New York State Legislature didn't extend his term. As mentioned
before, Giuliani actually considered joining the Conservative Party to run for another term. Were he
elected, we'd likely have to pry him out of the Oval Office with a crowbar once he lost his re-election

So, to wrap up, Giuliani has a poor track record as Mayor, surrounds himself with crooks and creeps, has
little to no relevant experience, and uses the biggest tragedy in American history to make himself wealthy. He
should NOT be elected President of the United States of America. He likes to think that he is running on the
strength of personal charisma and the reputation he gained nationally during 9/11, but those are not real. In
reality, he is an arrogant man with little respect for the rights of others who is standing on the shoulders of the
thousands killed at the World Trade Center, including 2,819 innocent workers, 343 fire fighters, 23 NYPD
police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers. He is building a path to the White House over their
bodies. Is this the man who should be leading the United States of America?

More information:

Rolling Stone: Giuliani: Worse Than Bush Giuliani: Vulnerabilities Report
Washington Post: In Private Sector, Giuliani Parlayed Fame Into Wealth
Village Voice: Rudy's Grand Illusion