# Rudy Giuliani

America Strong

This column by Rick Morain first appeared in the Jefferson Herald.

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

—President Donald Trump, in his speech to supporters on the Ellipse on January 6, 2021, before the attack on the Capitol later that day

Let’s talk about “America Strong.”

For Trump, “strong” means supporting his Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Trump-strong means doing whatever it takes, legal or illegal, to help him remain in power after the January 20, 2021 presidential inauguration date.

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Gingrich implodes, Romney skips straw poll and other Iowa caucus news

Political junkies may not have Newt Gingrich to kick around much longer. His whole presidential campaign staff quit yesterday, frustrated by the candidate’s lack of a work ethic.

Iowa Republicans will have fewer chances to kick Mitt Romney around this summer. The former Massachusetts governor won’t compete in the Iowa GOP’s straw poll this August, his campaign confirmed yesterday.

After the jump I have more links on those stories and other Republican presidential candidate news. I’ve got nothing on the Iowa GOP Lincoln dinner fundraiser that was supposed to be held tonight, though, because the state party canceled that event after Donald Trump backed out.

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Pawlenty in, Daniels out and other presidential campaign news

After a slow start, the Republican presidential campaign is ratcheting up in Iowa. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty formally announced his candidacy in Des Moines today. Over the weekend former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain made his campaign official too.

Arguably the biggest news of the past few days was Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels ruling out a campaign. Many Republican insiders had hoped he would beef up the weak declared field against President Barack Obama.

Links, quotes, and analysis are after the jump.

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GOP convention open thread

Anyone watching tonight?

Share your thoughts here.

Note that John Edwards, who had an extramarital affair, was banished from the Democratic convention. But Rudy Giuliani, who not only cheated on his wife but used city resources for the benefit of his mistress, and informed his wife he was divorcing her by holding a press conference, is delivering the keynote for the GOP convention.

Repeat after me: It’s ok if you’re a Republican.

The Other Half of The Ticket: Part 2

Continuing my series of putting odds to things, I thought I'd look at the Republician presidential race. It only seems fair to speculate on the enemy's position while we work on our own…

Again, the scenario I envision is one in which one of the current top three candidates wins the nomination: Giuliani, Romney, or Huckabee. A further stipulation is that whoever wins will not pick any of the other members of the Big Three. So no Rudy/Romney tickets, folks. I had considered Huckabee a top VP candidate, but I'm taking him out of the running since he's sharpening his attacks and becoming a serious contender.

3-1 Fred Thompson The consummate good 'ol boy, Fred is the perfect southern comfort for Guliani or Romney's Yankee personalities. Plus, while Thompson's been slinging a little mud, he hasn't seemed to make any serious enemies yet. His only caveat is that Huckabee doesn't need another down-home southerner on his ticket. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romney

5-1 Charlie Crist Three words. Florida. Florida. Florida. This guy might represent the single biggest “known unknown” in politics today. If he is Veeped, Florida becomes much, much, much harder for a Democrat to win. Yet, the guy is a total enigma–and refuses to tip his hat to any one candidate. Goes best with: Guliani, Romney, Huckabee

7-1 Tim Pawlenty He's the popular Governor of Minnesota and a handsome, young Republican face. He may even deliver Minnesota and put Iowa and Wisconsin in play for the Republicans. However, he has little name recognition as it stands now, and the I-35 collapse happened on his watch–a potential target. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romeny, Huckabee

7-1 Duncan Hunter Strong on immigration, tough on defense. From the sunny state of Cully-for-neea, Hunter would lend credibility to a candidate lacking on these issues. Not to name any names, *cough* Romney *cough*. Plus, “Hunter” would look really good on those signs. Still, he's going nowhere fast in his own race. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee

10-1 John Boehner He's a fresh face from a swing state. Also, he's been unfailingly loyal to the administration, and Republicans reward loyalty above all else. However, he got a little bit burned on the Foley and Abramoff scandals. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romney

10-1 John McCain War hero. Experienced. Moderate. McCain certainly deserves some recognition from the party after all these years. But his “radical” immigration stance and his “weak” anti-torture stance might turn off key components of the base. Not to mention that he would be the oldest VP ever elected. Goes best with: Huckabee

20-1 John Roberts He's the squeaky clean, likeable and popular Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Going from the Court to the White House is a stretch, but it's not impossible. He just might be the out-of-the-box candidate the party needs. Of course, it is somewhat of a suicide choice. If the ticket would win, they could appoint another moderate republican to the court. If they lose, they lose the White House, the Congress, and the Supreme Court in one year. A big gamble for sure. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee

1,000,000-1 Ron Paul Ron Paul would never agree to be any of these guys' VP. But if I include him, I can tag this diary “Ron Paul” and maybe someone will read it for a change.

NY cops walked Rudy's girlfriend's dog

Ben Smith of Politico broke this story, but Josh Marshall's team at Talking Points Memo is doing the most follow-up. (By the way, Josh should get the Pulitzer next year for his coverage of the Bush administration's abuse of power in firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons.)

Anyway, click the link. It turns out the NYPD didn't just drive Rudy to visit his girlfriend, and didn't just drive Rudy's girlfriend when he wasn't around, they also sometimes drove her friends and family in a city-owned car. 

Also, New York City cops sometimes walked her dog.

No way can Rudy's campaign last another month. 

UPDATE: Take a minute and fourteen seconds out of your life to watch this video.

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Stick a fork in Rudy--he's done

Well, I thought Rudy Giuliani’s campaign would go down in flames because of his connections to the federally indicted Bernie Kerik, or because he blew off attending the Iraq Study Group meetings in order to give $100,000 speeches.

But little did I know that the mayor billed city agencies for his security detail during daytime visits to his mistress and allowed said mistress to use the New York Police Department as her “personal taxi service”.

The guy is more brazen and corrupt than I ever imagined.

Anyone think his campaign can last until January 3?

UPDATE: Keep an eye on Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo blog. His crew are digging into various aspects of this story, and he is posting frequent updates:


Rudy not reaching out to Iowa GOP moderates

I've been saying for a long time that Rudy Giuliani will not be the GOP nominee. Others say he's got a plausible path: finish in the top three in Iowa, the top two in New Hampshire, then hang on until the big states vote on February 5. 

Now, this would be realistic if Rudy were actually going after Republican moderates in Iowa. Religious conservatives clearly call the shots in the party, but if the goal is just to finish in the top three, you could do that with a united front of moderates.

But read this article from the Sunday Des Moines Register on the lack of outreach from Giuliani's campaign to Republican moderates. It is beyond belief. Three former Republican members of the Iowa legislature (all women) are quoted about how Rudy is just pandering to the religious right. And read this part:

Diane Crookham Johnson's telephone has been quiet.

The moderate Republican from Oskaloosa led the Iowa Republican Party's 2004 fundraising effort and helped one-time presidential prospect George Pataki begin organizing in Iowa before the former New York governor decided last year not to run.

Johnson said she heard from Giuliani's staff once several months ago but not from the former mayor nor any other candidate, she said. In Iowa, it is common for party activists to hear directly from presidential candidates by telephone or in person.

“There are candidates who it's worth my time to caucus for. But I've not found a campaign worth giving up my time for,” she said. “Giuliani would have come the closest. But even that campaign is not fully committed in Iowa.”

Rudy hasn't even called the woman who led the Iowa GOP's fundraising in 2004. How connected do you think she is? I knew Rudy was lazy and not making much of an effort in Iowa, but come on–how could he not call this woman? It's insane.

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Rudy will not be the Republican nominee

Republican caucus-goers and primary voters know very little about Rudy Giuliani's record as mayor, other than what they say on tv on 9/11.

However, that fact will change in the coming months, and what people learn about Rudy is unlikely to impress them. Click this link if you dare to learn more about Rudy's longtime connections with Bernie Kerik:


It's a long article, but here is one excerpt:

In December 2004, President Bush nominated Mr. Kerik, a former New York police commissioner, to head the federal Department of Homeland Security. Seven days later, Mr. Kerik withdrew as a nominee.

A cascade of questions followed about his judgment as a public official, not least that he had inappropriately lobbied city officials on behalf of Interstate Industrial, a construction firm suspected of links to organized crime. Mr. Giuliani defended Mr. Kerik, a friend and business partner, whom he had recommended to the Bush administration. But he also tried to shield himself from accusations that he had ignored Mr. Kerik’s failings.

“I was not informed of it,” Mr. Giuliani said then, when asked if he had been warned about Mr. Kerik’s relationship with Interstate before appointing him to the police post in 2000.

Mr. Giuliani amended that statement last year in testimony to a state grand jury. He acknowledged that the city investigations commissioner, Edward J. Kuriansky, had told him that he had been briefed at least once. The former mayor said, though, that neither he nor any of his aides could recall being briefed about Mr. Kerik’s involvement with the company.

But a review of Mr. Kuriansky’s diaries, and investigators’ notes from a 2004 interview with him, now indicate that such a session indeed took place. What is more, Mr. Kuriansky also recalled briefing one of Mr. Giuliani’s closest aides, Dennison Young Jr., about Mr. Kerik’s entanglements with the company just days before the police appointment, according to the diaries he compiled at the time and his later recollection to the investigators.

The additional evidence raises questions not only about the precision of Mr. Giuliani’s recollection, but also about how a man who proclaims his ability to pick leaders came to overlook a jumble of disturbing information about Mr. Kerik, even as he pushed him for two crucial government positions.


In Mr. Kerik’s case, by the time Mr. Giuliani recommended him for the federal job, his administration knew that Mr. Kerik had acted on behalf of Interstate Industrial. It also knew that he had drawn criticism for a range of other incidents, from sending detectives to search for his lover’s cellphone to using officers to research his autobiography.

Mr. Kerik, who declined to speak about his troubles, now faces possible indictment on a range of federal felony charges, including perhaps tax evasion and bribery, stemming in part from his acceptance of $165,000 in renovations to his Bronx apartment paid for by Interstate. In June 2006, he pleaded guilty in the Bronx to state misdemeanor charges relating to the same renovations.

At some point this has to become an issue in the GOP primaries.

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Is Brownback dumber and less principled than I thought?

We've long known that Sam Brownback was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but his possible endorsement of Rudy Giuliani would be one of the dumbest things I can imagine him doing.

Haven't seen anything on this yet at Cyclone Conservatives or The Real Sporer blog, but the gang at TPM has been all over the story:

Brownback said a few days ago that he has become “much more comfortable” with Rudy after getting assurances from Giuliani that he would appoint only “strict constructionist” judges:


Brownback's former political director in Iowa says Sam may endorse Rudy as the candidate with the best chance to beat Hillary:


The Family Research Council is very upset and says conservatives will desert the GOP if Rudy is the nominee:


Endorsing Giuliani would be a really dumb move by Brownback. He campaigned as the guy with consistently pro-life views, and had support from many social conservatives, especially Catholics. To turn around and back Rudy is a slap in the face to them.

Presumably Brownback is angling for a position in Rudy's cabinet, or even the VP slot, by toying with an early endorsement. But let's get real. Are GOP primary voters going to nominate Rudy after seeing the ads his rivals will run against him? I know Fox News is in the tank for Rudy (he and Roger Ailes go way back), but they won't be able to save him from the ads showing Rudy calling himself the “liberal” mayor of New York, ads showing Rudy in drag, ads showing Rudy talk about being pro-choice and supporting state funding for abortion.

Not to mention the fact that Bernard Kerik is about to go on trial on federal charges–this is the guy Rudy pushed Bush to appoint as Homeland Security secretary. Great judgment there!

And who will be the first of Rudy's opponents to run this ad? When Rudy was appointed to the Iraq Study Group (also known as the Baker-Hamilton commission), he never bothered to show up for a single meeting. He was too busy giving $100,000 speeches to cash in on his 9/11 celebrity.

Romney, McCain and Thompson are not just going to hand this nomination to Rudy. They will fight him for it. 

And even if Rudy could get the nomination, I think he is far from the GOP's best candidate against Hillary. As I have written, Mike Huckabee is the one we need to be worried about–especially if Hillary is our nominee.

There are two obvious plays for Brownback. The safest one is not to endorse at all. The risky one would be to endorse Huckabee. He's a longshot who lacks money and faces the wrath of the Club for Growth. But at least endorsing him would show some principle and would upset social conservatives less than endorsing Rudy.

We'll see what Brownback is made of. 

Who has the best and worst bumper stickers?

Over at MyDD, Todd Beeton put up a thread linking to a Newsweek story about the brand messaging of major presidential candidates, based on their bumper stickers.

Click the link to the Newsweek story and scroll down to see a designer's expert analysis. He liked Hillary's branding, thought Obama's design looked good, and considered Edwards' use of a green trail off a star “crazy and daring.”

I had to go look at my own bumper sticker; not being a visual person, I hadn't even noticed there was any green on the Edwards sticker.

On the Republican side, he thought McCain had the worst logo and didn't like the militaristic star. Rudy's logo looks like “a brick wall,” and Mitt Romney's sticker looks like it belongs to “someone who's not going to win.” 

I also encourage you to read the comments below Beeton's post, because several MyDD readers had interesting things to say. For instance, Hillary's bumper sticker is apparently too tall to fit on old-fashioned chrome bumpers–only would work on newer vehicles. 

Several commenters also agreed with me that while McCain's logo may not be great, Romney's is by far the worst. McCain at least has good branding if he wants to appeal to the veterans' vote, which is important in GOP primaries.

What do you think about these and other bumper stickers? Have you seen many lately? Driving around town, I've just seen a few Edwards and Obama stickers, plus one Hillary sticker and one for Ron Paul.

How much worse could it get for Rudy?

Seriously, Newsday breaks a story that he couldn't make time to attend the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group meetings, because he was too busy giving $100,000 speeches.

Then his Iowa campaign chairman, Jim Nussle, takes a job in the sinking ship that is the Bush White House.

Then his South Carolina campaign chairman gets indicted on federal cocaine charges.

Talk about a bad week! Stick a fork in him–he's done. 

UPDATE: Mike Glover of the AP covers Rudy's answers to some tough questions. Apparently he expects us to believe that he quit the Baker-Hamilton commission because it “didn't seem that I would really be able to keep the thing focused on a bipartisan, nonpolitical resolution.” 

Rudy's staff to farmers: You're not rich enough to be his prop

Greg Sargent had a great catch today at his TPM political blog Horse’s Mouth. He spotted an amazing article in the Journal-Eureka, based in Anamosa, Iowa (Jones County).

I would link to the original article, but the newspaper’s site appears to have crashed from all the attention Sargent’s piece generated.

Click through to read Sargent’s account, but here is the short version: Deb VonSprecken, who farms with her husband, donated to Giuliani and got a call from his campaign asking if they would host an event for him at their farm. They were excited and started preparing the event.

Then they were asked to call Giuliani’s campaign office in New York, where someone asked about their assets. They own a small farm. Afterwards, Tony Delgado at Giuliani’s Des Moines office allegedly told Deb VanSprecken, “I’m sorry, you aren’t worth a million dollars and he is campaigning on the Death Tax right now.”

The event was called off.

Sargent contacted Deb VonSprecken directly, and she confirmed the details of the story.

Great way to treat a supporter, Giuliani campaign staff! I hope you get hired by whoever does get the nomination (I can’t imagine that it could possibly be Rudy).