Friday, October 5, 2007

NY Times: Rudy on the Radio

The Times has a piece on the weekly radio show Rudy Giuliani had as mayor that is, at turns, enlightening, disturbing and hilarious.

This is a must read.

Here are some quotes from "Live from City Hall with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani."

One quote that could get him into trouble-

"When a National Rifle Association member opposed a ban on assault rifles in 1994, Mr. Giuliani really got annoyed. 'Now the reason why the N.R.A. has lost all credibility is statements like that,' he said. 'By definition these are attack weapons. They are used for offense. It really is absolutely astounding that the N.R.A. continues to have influence in areas in which they make no sense at all.'”


But the thrust of the piece is the fervor with which Rudy goes after his critics, the language and imagery he uses, and the monumental chip on his shoulder. From the article:

Then there was David from Oceanside, who was president of Ferrets’ Rights Advocacy. He was furious that the city health code had just been changed to bar ownership of ferrets.

The mayor was outraged that David was outraged. They went back and forth during the summer of 1999.

“David, your compulsion, your excessive concern for weasels is a sign of something wrong in your personality,” the mayor said. “I am giving you the benefit of 55 years of experience — having handled insanity defenses, you need help.”

... When Bob from Manhattan asked in 1999 about a report linking a mayoral friend to ethical wrongdoing, Mr. Giuliani butted in.

“Why don’t you seek counseling somewhere, Bob? I think you could use some help. I can see the direction we’re going in — there are people so upset and so disturbed that they use radios for these sick little attacks on people,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I hope you take this in the right spirit, Bob.“You should go to a hospital. You should see a psychiatrist.”

As mayor of New York, he was tough, brash and in-your-face. The radio show gives you an unflinching look into his psyche, and really makes you wonder what the guy is like behind closed doors. Running for president, the quotes might come back to haunt him, or they could reinforce the notion of Giuliani as a strong (if often ineloquent) leader.

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