My life intersected briefly with Rudy Giuliani’s on November 2nd, 1997. He addressed 30,000 of us in his capacity as mayor at the start of the New York City marathon. I don’t recall what he said (I was distracted by four hours and seventeen minutes of discomfort ahead of me, as it turned out) but I do recall my impression of him at the time. The trim, intelligent-sounding man who stood before me, 23 years ago to the day on Monday, commanded respect and got a certain amount of it, even from some of the notoriously cynical New Yorkers in my midst.
That memory is difficult to harmonize with the raging, day-drunk wreck of a man Rudy Giuliani has become. I have since seen him embarrass himself on Fox News and other places. I even endured the juvenile absurdities of the new Borat movie to watch him attempt to seduce a young woman who he thought was 15 years old. She was in fact “of age” but that’s beside the point, he thought she was 15. His performance with her was every inch as repellent, creepy and stomach-churning as he has become. Rudy Giuliani has, finally, self-immolated.
Rudy reached another low with Fox News host Lisa Kennedy. This time he was full of fake outrage that she would dare ask any tough questions about, or demand evidence for, Rudy’s obviously fabricated narrative about the Hunter Biden laptop “scandal.” If anyone caught the parallel between Rudy’s rage at Ms. Kennedy and Donald Trump’s rage at 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl then, yeah, I noticed that too. In Trumpworld women aren’t supposed to ask tough questions or demand evidence. I mean really. The indignities these poor men must endure in the presence of these uppity women.
Rudy is peddling a story nobody wants, not even Fox News. Trump’s endless tweets about how the story is being “suppressed” by the “fake news lame stream media” is his latest mania du jour, replacing the runaway corruption of mail-in ballots and how “Sleepy Joe” is “hiding in his basement.” (Meanwhile another thousand Americans died of coronavirus since you and I last spoke, brothers and sisters.)
But back to Rudy. Lisa Kennedy compared the Hunter Biden scandal with the Steele Dossier, suggesting that there is no real supporting evidence for it. (Except, of course, the Steele Dossier alleges Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, and there was plenty of evidence of that in the Mueller Report.) At that point Rudy went on a seven minute rant of outrage for being compared with a “criminal” like Christopher Steele.
There will, of course, be plenty of time to decide who has and who has not been a criminal once the Department of Justice has been restored by Joe Biden to its rightful owners: the American people. Meanwhile the “scandal” of what role Joe Biden played in any corrupt dealings with Ukraine can be summarized in a single word: none. Or, to put it less succinctly, as it was put in an 87 page report released jointly by the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees, that report said that there is no evidence that Joe Biden improperly manipulated American policy toward Ukraine or committed any other misdeed. In fact investigators heard testimony that completely rebutted those charges. End of story.
Rudy Giuliani has become a sad, disgusting, creepy little man who insists on committing public suicide on a daily basis. He is another monument to how far and how fast people are willing to fall in the blind service of a man as shabby and unworthy as Donald Trump. It beggars belief. On Tuesday let’s send the whole lot of them packing, shall we? And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.