If Giuliani Runs, He Can't Run From His Record

In his political and personal life, there are episodes Rudy might like to forget

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Rudy Giuliani

    Rudolph Giuliani has reportedly decided not to run for Governor next year -- much to the disappointment of Republican leaders who thought he had a good shot at winning.

    The GOP leaders shouldn’t be too upset. If Giuliani had decided to seek the governorship, his record -- not the kind a politician should be proud of -- might have caught up with him.

    In his political and personal life, there are episodes Rudy might like to forget. When he ran for President, he fell on his face. After a crushing defeat in the Florida primary in 2008, he endorsed John McCain. His early departure from the Presidential race meant that his record didn’t catch up with him. That might still happen if he decides to run for the U.S. Senate next year. But, for the record, here are some facts about the man who was once called “America’s Mayor.”

    When he served as Mayor, he made some pretty sad appointments. The former prosecutor and corruption fighter made his former chauffeur, Bernard Kerik, Police Commissioner. Kerik was indicted for tax fraud, conspiracy and making false statements. He pleaded guilty a few days ago and will be sentenced in February.

    I remember, when Giuliani was first elected Mayor, Ray Harding, boss of the Liberal Party, was his political confidant and mentor. But Harding recently admitted that he had accepted more than $800,000 for doing favors for the former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi. The accusation came in the midst of an investigation by State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo of fees paid by investment firms seeking business with the state pension fund. Harding is cooperating with the investigation.

    Giuliani as mayor also appointed Harding’s son, Russell, to head the Housing Development corporation. Russell pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $400,000 from this agency and possessing child pornography. Russell Harding, who served time for his crimes, has started a web site, and he denounces the man who appointed him quite bitterly.

    He once revered him as a principled leader, he says, but no more. “He no longer has an inner core or a message.” So says an estranged member of the old Giuliani administration, who has admitted to lacking principles himself.

    Giuliani became a symbol of New York City’s comeback after 9/11. But the tragedy that befell 3,000 New Yorkers enabled him to start a lucrative consulting business and, in addition, he has commanded fees estimated at $100,000 each for lectures around the country.

    And then there’s his personal record, hardly likely to impress either conservative or liberal New Yorkers. Giuliani held a press conference to announce that he was separating from his then wife, Donna Hanover, before he told her. That’s hardly likely to impress voters who believe in fair play.

    So the best advice for GOP leaders is: don’t nominate this old corruption-fighter for the Senate. If he runs on his record, he might disappoint you.