Friday, February 09, 2007

Run, run, Rudolph

Barbara at Crooks & Liars has this about America's Mayor wanker Rudy Giuliani:

Here are a few things America really needs to know about Rudy Giuliani:

Had Rudy Giuliani been mayor of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit, no one would be talking about what a great leader Giuliani is today.

I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11, and as I was working in Manhattan I spent most of my time there in the days and weeks after. So you can take my word on this: Rudy’s post-9/11 “leadership” amounted almost entirely of the mayor appearing on television. He did a fine job of appearing on television, and he managed to set the right tone and say the right things — abilities Hizzoner did not always draw upon in the past. I give him credit for his performance. But that performance did not constitute “leadership.” It was all public relations. It was all about Rudy.

Jimmy Breslin wrote,

He was a nobody as a mayor and in one day he became a hero. This sudden career, this door opening to a room of gold, all started for Rudolph Giuliani when his indestructible bunker in World Trade Center building blew up. He had personally selected it, high in the sky, and with tons of diesel fuel to give emergency power.

And Giuliani walks on. He walks from his bunker, up Barclay Street and went on television. Went on and announced his heroism and then came back every hour or so until he became a star, a great figure, a national hero, the mayor who saved New York.

Most of this comes from these dazed Pekingese of the Press. … Giuliani was a hero with these news people. He did not pick up a piece of steel or help carry one of the injured off. [Jimmy Breslin, “He Molests the Dead,” New York Newsday, March 7, 2004]

The fact is that Giuliani did little to “lead” rescue or recovery efforts. While Rudy was prancing around on television, a hodge-podge of city agencies loosely — very loosely — coordinated by the Office of Emergency Management went to work deconstructing the remains of the World Trade Center with little input or direction from the Mayor.

Consider also that the World Trade Center was yards away from Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. Unlike Mayor Nagin of New Orleans, Mayor Giuliani did not have to beg for help getting the debris cleared and electricity hooked up so that the financial district was up and running again as quickly as possible. New York’s business leadership saw to that.