Politics The Contenders: Rudy Giuliani
posted by January 9 at 11:30 AMon
Sure, November 2008 is nearly two years away, but it’s apparently never too early to declare one’s intention to run for president, and thus it’s never too early to get to know the people who might be the next leader of the free world. This month we’ll be taking a brief look at them.
Status: Exploratory Committee Formed
Lionized for his steady hand and reassuring demeanor when the twin towers were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has been mentioned ever since as someone with the national stature and anti-terrorist-cred to mount a presidential campaign on the Republican ticket.
However, his colorful personal life and his moderation on social issues could make his candidacy a non-starter with the Republican base.
Giuliani was born in Brooklyn in 1944 to second-generation Italian immigrants. He graduated from New York University’s law school in 1968 and went on to make a name for himself as a federal prosecutor who took on organized crime and Wall Street corruption. In 1993, on his second attempt, he became mayor of New York, ushering in a tough-on-crime era that is credited with making New York a safer (and less interesting) place to live.
As outlined in a recently leaked (or, according to Giuliani associates, “stolen”) campaign document, the former mayor faces perhaps insurmountable obstacles to winning over social conservatives. He is currently on his third wife, having left his first after allegedly finding out that she was his second cousin, and having used a news conference to tell his second wife that he was leaving her. People speculate that he was already seeing his now-third-wife, Judith Nathan, at the time. On top of that, Giuliani was a staunch supporter of disgraced former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerick; Giuliani has dressed in drag on several occasions (see below); and he supports gay rights, is pro-choice, and has said he believes Americans should have to pass a written test to own a gun.
(With research help from super-star intern Sage Van Wing)