There’s no suspense left in the Giuliani Campaign. His all-the-marbles Florida Firewall strategy wasn’t up to code and erupted in flames. Never mind the poll numbers, which consistently had him fighting the similarly-flailing Mike Huckabee for fourth place, it was already a very bad portent last week when he invited his supporters to work the phones for him in the Sunshine State–as long as they were willing to bring their own phones.
Tuesday night, there will be no victory parties for Rudy. He’ll die in Florida like Hyman Roth, in a death as protracted and inevitable. His one-note candidacy didn’t help him (Joe Biden noted that Rudy’s sentences consist of “A noun, a verb, and 9/11″, and the entire Western world cringed at news of a California Giuliani fundraiser where donors were encouraged to pony up “$9.11 for Rudy”). It was far worse than that, though. America’s Mayor was undone by a foolish campaign strategy and enough baggage to keep all of Miami International’s handlers busy for months. His former police chief is under indictment, his children hate him, he hates his children, he squired his mistress on the public dime and even had his NYPD escorts walk her dog, and New Yorkers by the hundreds queued up to remind the country what Rudy’s New York City was really like before he became the deity of 9/11. He was counting on his New York connections to the state’s many transplanted retirees, but along the way has lost the endorsement of the NYPD and he’s seeing his hero status aggressively debunked by the International Association of Firefighters (who’ve trotted out a five-foot rat named “Rudy the Rodent”).
The real suspense now will be watching to see if the notoriously-vindictive Mayor embraces his recent and thorough immolation and tries to pull those who’ve crossed him into his blaze-to-the-ground. A recent article in The New York Times painted a most-unflattering portrait of a man who lives and breathes a scorched-earth policy against anyone who dares to cross him.
The lead of the article centered around a “rough-hewn chaffeur” from the Bronx who called Giuliani’s radio show in 1997 to complain about a police red-light sting. Essentially dismissed by Giuliani, the chauffeur, James Schillaci, went toThe Daily News, which ran its own front-page photo and story on the sting the next morning.
Schillaci didn’t have long to revel in the fruits of his civic kvetching, though, as police arrived at his home that morning to arrest him on a 13-year-old traffic warrant. Never mind that the charges were soon tossed out by a judge, a police spokesman read Schillaci’s aged criminal record to a reporter from The Daily News, including a false assertion that he had been convicted of sodomy.
One former Giuliani insider talks of those guilty of transgressions mostly small as being “marked for destruction” by the Mayor.
Casual observers of national news might recall the case of Patrick Dorismond, a security guard and father of two who was killed in a misunderstanding with two undercover New York Narcotics Detectives in 2000. When accounts of Dorismond’s death suggested that the detectives may have been being unduly belligerent during the encounter, Giuliani responded by releasing the dead man’s juvenile records (a clear violation of state law) and suggesting that “he was no altar boy” (which, actually, he was, having gone to the same Catholic Church as the Mayor).
All told, the city paid nearly $7 million during Giuliani’s two terms to settle lawsuits brought against the city for the mayor’s vendettas.
When criticized by former Mayors David Dinkins and Ed Koch, Giuliani ordered both of their official portraits removed from City Hall.
Without an official position, though, nor enough money to pay for plane fare home for anyone on his staff, Giuliani might have to resort to the somewhat cruder methods of his youth for setting his scores (unless he depleted his campaign coffers in anticipation of having to fund his revenge, which given the Mayor’s severing-nose-to-spite-face nature would not surprise).
It can’t be a pretty picture on the Giuliani plane (or bus) this week, with his close advisers who at this point have to be as hollow-eyed, skittish, and submissive as a long-abused spouse after weeks of bearing witness to the campaign’s ugly unraveling and a boss who has long since past his boiling point and is looking for his pound of flesh. With his campaign in ruins and any further discussions of strategy useless, one can only imagine Rudy holed up with his brain trust today wondering how they can scare up enough wharf rats to nail one to the front door of every fire house in New York and if anyone knows how they can come up with a fake bloody extracted hair plug to send to Joe Biden. Ron Paul is going to get jumped outside his car one of these evenings and beaten with a copy of the 9/11 Commission report.
So don’t expect any fireworks when Rudy’s campaign ends with a whimper tomorrow night. But if you open your door one of these days, and find a bald, snarling, Italian Catholic on your doorstep, you’ll know immediately that that contribution you made to the Fred Thompson campaign was the most foolish $25 you ever spent.