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February 21, 2007

Giuliani and Diplomacy

This stuck me as a very good point by New York native (and endlessly annoying Park Slope partisan) Badler:

Also, while governing a global city like New York may give you some foreign policy experience, it is only worth bragging about if you were successful in your dealings with your diverse constituents. One need look no farther than Giuliani's clunky handling of the murder of African immigrant Amadou Diallo by New York police officers, and the way it enraged immigrant communities across the city, to see that Giuliani is no diplomat.

Too often, Giuliani's prickly, stubborn, autocratic tendencies are taken as mere personal eccentricities, evidence that he's unpleasant rather than predictors of performance. But, in fact, when under pressure, he's shown a willingness to needlessly enrage and aggravate important, offended constituencies, which isn't the sort of tendency you want in a president who has to calm international crises.

This sort of relates to the Richardson talk from earlier today. On one hand, you have a popular, internationally experience candidate with a proven ability to pull of remarkable diplomatic feats. On the other, you've got a prickly eccentric whose descent into unpopularity was interrupted by a massive terrorist attack, who has no actual foreign policy or national security experience, and whose actual record doesn't suggest he'd be very good at either. Yet the stubborn novice is trailed by cameras while the old hand can't get a quote.

February 21, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

"a prickly eccentric whose descent into unpopularity was interrupted by a massive terrorist attack, who has no actual foreign policy or national security experience, and whose actual record doesn't suggest he'd be very good at either."

Sadly, there is something of a precedent for this . . .

Posted by: bobbo | Feb 21, 2007 7:07:05 PM

Well, I'll tell ya, I've live in the NY metro area my whole life, including a few years in Manhattan, but everyone around me has very fond feelings for Guiliani. I've heard many people around these parts say the opposite. But my circle of people are mostly apolitical, not liberal or conservative, and ALL of them think of Guiliani fondly. Which is why I think, regardless of all his detractors, he'd be our hardest competitor.

Posted by: jambro | Feb 21, 2007 8:28:16 PM

Diallo is bound to be Giuliani's albatross; I don't think that incident - which did force a number of changes - is going to be the be-all and end-all for a case about Giuliani as diplomat. Even general "prickliness" is only going to go so far. I think the challenge, and the question, for Giuliani is can he thread the needle on not being quite as conservative as GOP diehars will want on the one hand, while being hard edged and confrontational in a way that will put liberals off. As much as I think the "Mayor of 9/11" tag will get him over, I think Giuliani isn't really a soft enough touch at being so many things to so many people, and he tends to be dismissive of things that don't grab his interest... such as upstate NY politics, which is as much what drove his decision to get out of the Governor's race as his personal issues. If Giuliani does push through, though, I'd rather see him face Clinton than say, Edwards; I'm more convinced that Clinton will play as hard and rough as Giuliani's guys will, hitting him not only on the expected weaknesses, but challenging his conservative bona fides to create uneasiness withing the GOP. I think some Dems think you can go at Giuliani in some conventional way and prevail, when the real way to succeed will be to play like a New Yorker - fast, dirty and mean. Giuliani will bring it; I'm not sure a lot of Dems up for that.

Posted by: weboy | Feb 21, 2007 9:57:05 PM

He wasn't exactly mopping the floor with Mrs. Clinton when he bowed out of the NY Senate race, let's not forget.

Posted by: kth | Feb 21, 2007 10:21:59 PM

I thought the reason people liked him in NY was because he was generally a liberal, but he'd "clean up" NYC by being hard on black people. Not that that playing up racism can't be savvy (and evil) in a presidential election, but I'm not sure a pro-choice pro-gay Catholic Italian New Yorker can really be the heir to the Southern Strategy.

Posted by: Sam L. | Feb 21, 2007 11:47:27 PM

"On one hand, you have a popular, internationally experience candidate with a proven ability to pull of remarkable diplomatic feats."

Feats like what?

That great success with Kil Bil Ill and stopping his nukes?

Truly remarkable indeed.

Posted by: mik | Feb 22, 2007 12:38:52 AM

Uhm- I live in NYC, and not everyone has 'fond' memories of him. The fact is that people are happy now under Bloomberg because he is a welcomed change from the often divisive actions of our former mayor. It's also the case that many NY'ers were on the way to not like our former mayor, and it was only 9/11 that momentarily revived his declining status. Of course, folks out in the 'burbs' liked him because he 'cleaned' up the city so you could feel safe at night. Now , mind you he did this through community policing, an idea he stole from the administration that preceeded him. There's a reason he didn't run for the Senate here. He thought he might lose. He hurt himself when he came out in 2004 blaming the troops for the lose of 300 tons of explosive when Bush was trying to cover his ass. People associate him with a corrupt ex police chief.

Posted by: akaison | Feb 22, 2007 12:39:26 AM

Thank you, akaison. I also live in the city (apparently, not too far from Ben Adler), and Guiliani's name is shit here. The B&T folks ("bridge and tunnel") like him because they could attend matinee performances of The Lion King without fear of being accosted by unsavory dark-skinned people; most residents were really tired of his act. Anyone who wants a thorough grounding of just how bad Guiliani is should pick up Wayne Barrett's definitive books on his rise and tenure as "America's Mayor." The man is running on the basis of his performance on a single day that, when you think about, isn't much different from what any other half-way competent person would have done in his shoes. Of course, we shouldn't forget the fact that the reason Guilianin was downtown on 9/11 in the first place was that he had put his Emergency Command Center in 7 World Trade, against the advice of his security team. Guiliani wasn't running TOWARD the towers because he saw the need to "lead," he just happened to be there because that's were his office was.

That so many people can be bamboozled with such sleight of hand never ceases to amaze me.

Posted by: Passing Shot | Feb 22, 2007 9:20:57 AM

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Posted by: judy | Sep 26, 2007 11:51:24 AM

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