Rudy Guiliani dropped out of the 2008 presidential campaign
after placing third in the Florida primary this week.
His grand plan to make the Sunshine State a platform
from which he would soar to the Republican nomination
now lies in ashes at his feet.
His now former campaign can be compared to the movie
“Being There”, which starred Peter Sellers in the role of
the accidental and completely unqualified candidate. Rudy
was there on September 11, 2001. In fact, barely a sentence
would pass through his razor-thin lips that did not mention
that tragic, yet identity-establishing day. How this
unremarkable coincidence morphed into presidential
credentials will most likely remain a mystery before it fades
from memory altogether.
We can all breath a sigh of relief that this less than remarkable
control freak is not going to be on the ballot this November. Let
us briefly examine his security-related credentials as we continue
to exhale in a state of blissful relief. This is the man who placed
New York City’s command and control facilities at 7 World Trade
Center – in the deep red center of the fundamentalist’s bulls-eye.
(He wrongly and shamelessly blamed this on a subordinate, who,
it turns out, had actually suggested a location in Brooklyn.) Rudy
also stood idly by as NYC Fire Department radios went without
proper upgrades. And, he dodged duty on the 9/11 committee
because it interfered with his lucrative private speaking tour.
As New York City’s CEO, Rudy picked unnecessary and destructive
fights with anyone who opposed him. It did not matter how petty
the issue or how much it would cost the taxpayers. He hired
incompetent cronies to cushion his perpetually bruised ego; public
welfare would always take a back seat to the private demons that
drove his dark little world.
The fact that a man of such small stature and twisted nature
made it to the ballot list in so many primaries is a disturbing sign
of the times. As our economy unravels from the effects of an
unprecedented credit binge and the developing world continues
to slide toward anarchy, it becomes glaringly apparent that a real
leader will be needed to confront the many challenges that lie
ahead. Although the pickings are still slim, at least one truly rotten
apple has been removed from the barrel.