Once upon a time in America, Rudy Giuliani was perhaps the most admired man in the country. After an impressive career of locking up mean street gangsters and Wall Street white collar criminals he was elected Mayor of New York City, and was very successful at it. During his two terms the city went from the brink of bankruptcy to budget surpluses, a crime rate that was the stuff of dystopian cinema dropped precipitously along with complaints of police brutality, the unemployment rate also dropped as businesses stopped fleeing the city, and after his calm and steady leadership in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks he had an eye-popping 2 percent disapproval rating in the national polls.
Since then Giuliani has made a lot of money, but otherwise things have gone downhill. He’s now embroiled in a political scandal that’s likely to get his client President Donald Trump impeached, two of his close associates are in jail awaiting trial on charges that also implicate him, and he’s under investigation by the same Justice Department Southern District of New York he once heroically led for various things having to do with what the president is likely to be impeached about. On top of that, he’s going through a very messy third divorce.
The divorce is irresistibly savory for New York City’s notoriously vicious tabloids, which have been gleefully feasting on Giuliani’s private life for decades. It was big news when Giuliani divorced his second wife because of a long affair with the woman who became his third wife, which he announced to the media before telling his second wife, and the third wife is now charging adultery as one of several grounds for divorce, so it’s a hit sequel in the tabloids. The third wife is also claiming that Giuliani is concealing much of his fortune, so the financial records her lawyer is requesting and likely to get will become public record, which is another problem.
One of the questions about the matter that might get the president impeached is whether Giuliani has been compensated for his work as Trump’s lawyer, and one of the things the Southern District is looking into is the compensation he might have received from Ukrainians and Russians and other countries involved in the likely impeachment, which allows the media to wallow in Giuliani’s woes for respectable reasons. If there’s anything incriminating in Giuliani’s financial records, or anything to do with the matter that’s making impeachment likely, you’ll be sure to hear about it.
Giuliani remains Trump’s attorney and is a frequent defender on the cable news shows that Trump watches so closely, but it’s not clear if Trump has noticed how very awful he is at both jobs. By now the once-reasonably-handsome Giuliani has an undeniably vampiric look about him, and he tends to rant and rave and spin wild conspiracy theories when on television. A good lawyer would have advised his presidential client not to solicit the Ukrainian government’s help in a reelection campaign, but Giuliani freely admits his enthusiastic involvement in the arguably impeachable effort. His association with those two jailed clients and business partners also doesn’t help the president, who claims not to know the gentleman but has been photographed looking very chummy with them on several occasions.
It would take one of the great Greek tragedians to explain how Giuliani has fallen from such great heights to his current mess, but it all seems to have started with his failed presidential campaign in ’08. He started out with a lead in the national polls, but the Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire got the first votes, and Giuliani didn’t bother to compete until the bigger and more urban states got involved. Back then the heartland sorts of Republicans were suspicious of anyone from New York City, and Giuliani had once held views on abortion and guns that were contrary to the party’s stands, and he was on his third marriage and didn’t seem particularly pious, so by the time the bigger and more urban states got to vote he was out of the race.
As it turns out Giuliani was eight years ahead of his time, and he’s now a sidekick of a soon-to-be impeached president, and could wind up in prison next to another one of Trump’s lawyers. We still have no affection for those damned Democrats, but the Republican Party seems have slipped a notch or two over the last 18 years as well.
— Bud Norman