I've read some terrible pieces of political journalism in my life, but Newsweek's cover story on Rudy Giulani is perhaps the worst I've ever read. I've read campaign biographies that were more critical than this hyperbolic hagiography of a man who is a deeply flawed candidate for President. With a personal, familial, and ethical past that makes the Clintons look like the Waltons, St. Rudy gets a complete free pass. Some standout lines in the standout piece:
He spoke in the hushed tones of the day that marked him for history, September 11, 2001, his voice barely filling the somber setting—not a hotel ballroom or a church basement, but a firehouse, festooned with American flags.
His remarks were dramatic, which was fitting, since Giuliani has always been a man of drama, always thriving at moments of crisis.
But when the crises come, Giuliani has proved to be big enough. New York City was crime-ridden with a dwindling middle class when he became mayor in 1994. By the millennium, the city was safe, swaggering—and the envy of much of the nation.
On 9/11, with the president hidden from view, "America's Mayor" steeled the country by speaking the terrible truth.
Born in 1944, Rudolph William Giuliani was raised to be tough in moments of peril.
In fact, I believe as an infant, he took up arms against the menace of Nazi Germany's squeegee men.
After Manhattan College and New York University Law School, he set off on a career as a prosecutor singularly focused on battling evil.
To make a point about the city's rampant drug problem, he and New York Sen. Alfonse D'Amato donned black leather jackets and dark shades and cruised the streets of an uptown neighborhood to make undercover crack buys.
Yeah, I bet that was convincing.
And then came the cold horror of September 11. In those morning and midday hours Giuliani was transformed into the man of destiny he'd seemed to always believe himself to be… But when the vast majority of Americans look back on 9/11, they will, for the ages, think of Giuliani walking through ash and soot. He was honest, sad and strong; he was heroic. Alone that night, before going to bed, he read Churchill's May 1940 speech to the House of Commons: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.