Saturday, December 01, 2007

Gail Collins - Rudy's Security Blanket

Gail Collins has written a funny and eviscerating editorial on Rudy Guiliani's security problems in the New York Times today. The entire thing is worth reading, but these paragraphs stand out:

The Giuliani presidential campaign is based on the idea that he understands that the world is a dangerous place and knows the steps that need to be taken to protect us. But his real conviction has always seemed to be that the world was a dangerous place for him. After American embassies were bombed in East Africa, his administration responded by blocking off the driveways to City Hall, barring protesters and politicians from their traditional press conference site on the building steps, and banishing tourists. Meanwhile, behind the barricades, the mayor was planning to put the city’s emergency command center inside the best-known terrorist target in America.

Does this sound like a good plan, people? Do you want the next president putting a nuclear missile at Camp David while he moves the Situation Room to the Louisiana flood plain?

The conflation of the safety of Rudy with the safety of New York reached its peak on 9/11, when the entire public security leadership of the city left ground zero in order to protect the mayor in his walk uptown. And then there was the aftermath, when he tried to postpone the mayoral election under the theory that the factor most critical to our survival was his continued presence at the helm.

If the vision of city police officers cooling their heels outside his mistress’s home in the Hamptons is troubling, it’s not because of the moral implications. It’s a reminder that Rudy is one of those people who doesn’t handle power well. The more important he becomes, the more impossible he becomes.


Rudy Guiliani is someone who uses power first and foremost for his own benefit. For me the key observation here is "The conflation of the safety of Rudy with the safety of New York...". He thinks he is the center of the universe and what is good for Rudy is what is best for the rest of us. He treats the government as his personal goodie bag and cries foul if told that it he who is the public servant, not us.

Kinda like Geroge W.


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