Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Blessing with faint damnation

Posted by Ron Coleman on August 23, 2007

In “Behind Giuliani’s Tough Talk,” Time magazine steps up to begin the attack process — completely legitimate — on the Republican front-runner. I read the article and did not find it particularly damning. Not that there aren’t weaknesses to discuss; there are. But it’s very telling that the best Time could do for a serve-it-up opinion on Giuliani’s leadership style was this:

Giuliani’s record on managing the city’s emergency responders is more telling—and shows a more complicated leadership style than Americans saw on 9/11. “When we reflected on his tenure, we saw qualities that were not helpful,” says Jamie Gorelick, a member of the 9/11 commission and former Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton Administration. “[For President], I think you want someone who is not polarizing. Someone who brings people together by the power of persuasion rather than the power of dictate. Someone who is considering of other points of view and ultimately decisive. And on all three scores, I have serious doubts about the mayor.”

Laughter abounds. Jamie Gorelick?! They quoted that Jamie Gorelick?

You have to like Rudy’s chances more and more.


13 Responses to “Blessing with faint damnation”

  1. JadeGold said

    You’d think you’d prefer Gorelick’s very understated criticism of Giuliani. Especially, since Grand Illusion, Giuliani’s own Emergency Management Director, and the NYFD are much more vocal about Rudy’s 9/11 failings.

    Plus, the story about Rudy’s Crisis Center being built as a love nest for he and his mistresses.

  2. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but yes, he has much to answer for, especially in his personal life. Not only that, the Time article does hit some very legitimate soft spots.

    But quoting Gorelick at all on a topic as subjective as leadership style, and given her own considerable inherent and political bias, is preposterous, JG. This is proved out by the formulation she uses in her criticism: It is right out of the Hillary playbook. Although the idea that Hillary Clinton epitomizes someone “who brings people together by the power of persuasion rather than the power of dictate,” especially after the Hillarycare debacle, would be even more preposterous!

  3. Ara Rubyan said

    See I read the article and perceived it as a big old wet kiss from Amanda Ripley to Rudy.

    And for every “criticism” of the Mayor (including the lamness from Jamie Gorelick), there is a countermanding “Yes, but…” moment — many of them from Giuliani himself.

    In the end, you’re left with this:

    Borrowing rhetoric from one of the least popular Presidents in history may backfire, even for America’s mayor. In a recent CBS poll, 46% of respondents said the war in Iraq is actually creating more terrorists.


    For many, though, the same words sound different when Giuliani says them. Sherie Silverman, 62, went to hear Giuliani in Rockville and left convinced that he “gets it” on terrorism. “He said what I wanted to hear,” she said. “I’m looking for a more competent version of Bush.” The crowd gave Giuliani a standing ovation.

    Yes, that’s right. Literally the very last word in the article invokes the sound of applause. Courtesy of Time Magazine. For Rudy Giuliani.

    If I’m Rudy (shudder), I couldn’t ask for more.

  4. Ara Rubyan said

    P.S. Giuliani is going to be a tough candidate to beat.

  5. jaymaster said

    I’m wondering if they share the same dentist.

  6. Jonathan said

    I think the Time article is a probing attack. There are many probing attacks made via the MSM. They aren’t all harsh attacks, but if some element of an attack works it is quickly incorporated in talking points and replicated in subsequent attacks.

    I agree that Giuliani will be tough to beat, because many of his negatives are things that don’t bother liberals, and because Republicans will vote for him over any of the Democrats who are running.

  7. Bob Miller said

    In the general elction next year, people will vote for the candidate with attitude, whichever one they favor most. If they like “aggressive”, they can consider Rudy or Hillary. If they like “smooth”, they can consider Barack or Mitt. And so on.

    Within each attitude, there are categories. Rudy, for example, is “aggressive towards America’s foreign enemies”. Hillary is more “aggressive towards her own domestic enemies”.

  8. Interesting thought, Jonathan. But how can they tell what “works”?

    Bob, where does this theory of yours come from?!

  9. Ara Rubyan said

    I see it another way:

    Nearly two-thirds of all Republicans approve of the job Bush is doing, so the choice is pretty clear and simple. If you want to ease into Bush’s Third Term, if you want to stay the course, you’ll vote for Rudy or any of the other Republicans.

    If, on the other hand, you think we’re on the wrong track, if you want to take a different direction, you’ll vote for any of the Democrats.

  10. Rudy is not George Bush, but what you’re saying is not terribly wrong, Ara.

    Of course, appeals to “a different direction” are empty. It’s always easy to promise the moon. When we get to the specifics the Democrats offer, though, the future looks a lot less appealing, and a lot more expensive, than a mythical alterno-universe.

  11. Ara Rubyan said

    “Promising the moon” is a straw man argument Ron. Probably three-quarters of the population agrees that we are seriously going down the wrong track right now. All we want is a change in direction.

    And as for “expensive” how’s about we repeal the tax credits that went to the top 1% of the population for starters? Everyone agrees that trickled-on economics never did work. Fact is, history shows that the engine of growth in this country has always been the middle class, wage earning, family unit. The more we can help them, the stronger we are.

    Stop taxing wages; return to taxing passive income.

  12. Bob Miller said

    Ron asked “Bob, where does this theory of yours come from?!”

    I can’t divulge my sources, but I’ll try to explain it. The idea is that issues have their place somewhere, but voters zero in on the type of character they want to see in the President.

    This explains why Gore, enjoying every apparent advantage, did not win going away in 2000. His personal offensiveness trumped everything. Much the same with Kerry in 2004.

    So if most voters prize a personality trait and a major party candidate clearly has that trait, he/she wins. The same goes, in reverse, if most voters loathe a particular trait.

  13. Bob Miller said

    To continue,

    This applies most accurately to voters not firmly connected to a party. These are becoming more and more common, and their preferences swing elections. However, even party people may stay home or vote the other way if their party’s candidate looks like a stiff, a dud….

    If both major candidates either have or lack the most-desired trait, then the focus shifts to less important things like nuances within that trait, or even to the issues.

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