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Tilting at Windmills

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November 14, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RUDY AND THE NEW YORK RENAISSANCE....Over at MyDD, Todd Beeton notes that Rudy Giuliani's latest TV ad in New Hampshire doesn't mention 9/11 at all. Instead, it's an (almost) pure paean to the fact that he turned around New York City. New York, Rudy says in the voiceover, was "a city that was in financial crisis, a city that was the crime capital of America, a city that was the welfare capital of America" — until Rudy took over. Eight years later it was sunny, crime free, and "the spirit of the people of the city had changed."

I think people underestimate this appeal of Rudy's. (Including me, probably.) Sure, 9/11 is still his meal ticket, but I suspect that an awful lot of his popularity comes less from that than from the widespread idea that he actually accomplished something. Very few politicians can make this claim credibly, which makes it a uniquely powerful pitch. After all, if Rudy could turn around New York City, why not America? Why not the world? We should expect to see a lot more of this: "Morning in New York City" will probably play for Rudy about as well as "Morning in America" did for Ronald Reagan.

Kevin Drum 12:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (77)

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It also plays to his weakness: people who complain about his management mistakes, etc., are simply carping cuz THEY didn't turn NYC around.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 14, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a New Yorker, and my memory of "Giuliani Time" was that he was not beloved, he was tolerated-- he had some decent people in there in the beginning, like Bill Bratton, until they started getting press...and let's be honest, the reduction in crime was echoed in cities across the nation, and I think had a hell of a lot more to do with the Clinton econonmy than any "broken window theory" of crime prevention. There was more money around, more jobs, more cops-- Rudy basically managed his way through a very good time. Period.

Posted by: bk on November 14, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Ed Rendell has gotten a lot of mileage out of the idea that he saved Philadelphia during the same time frame. I think a lot of places improved while Rendell and Rudy were mayors. Most of the benefitted directly from the overall Clinton-era economic boom. I've always thought Rendell was in the right place at the right time and was a good enough politician to take credit for everything. It didn't help that he was followed by the idiot John Street. I also conspiracy theorized that Rendell endorsed Street in order to make the Rendell era look ever better by comparison.

Posted by: sc on November 14, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Also the crime thing.

The standard "New York was a crime-ridden cesspool before Rudy cleaned it up" line IS going to resonate with many people. Most Americans take a fairly dim view of crime. Liberals who have no trouble making the argument that chaos and violence are bad things in Baghdad, and that maybe maybe maybe Saddam was better than anarchy, seem unable to understand an analogous argument about New York. Obviously there are vast differences in degree, but the principle is the same.

Seriously: e.g.the stuff about street people extorting money to "clean" windshields--most Americans are outraged when they hear that kind of thing. They almost can't believe it.

Posted by: Winston Smith on November 14, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

I take it the Firemen and Policemen were too busy stopping crime to do a segment in this ad?

Oh, that's right! The Firemen and Policemen HATE Rudy! Something about ripping off pensions?

Let's ask the multitude of Workfare "employees" how that program is working for them?

This guy takes credit for a Nation wide crime decrease? This guy takes credit for mustering the courage to be out in public after 9/11? Hello? His office was destroyed! Guess that made Rudy homeless! The Police should have escorted him out of the city on 9/11, instead he gets golden showers for standing on dead people's dust. Shameful!

I hear Satan keeps a special room in his Dungeon for "patriots" like Rudy.

Posted by: Eason on November 14, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a big supporter of "Broken Windows" policing.

But I think "Broken Windows" discussions often miss a critical part of the context of the times in NYC.

After watching American Gangster I started thinking about the timeline.

The actions of Frank Serpico, and the book and the movie changed peoples' attitudes toward policing in NYC. Without Serpico creating the psychological willingness to tackle police corruption, I don't think the prosecutors would have flipped Frank Lucas (the drug dealer depicted in "American Gangster") on corrupt cops as aggressively.

And I think going after corrupt cops aggressively was necessary precursor to making "Broken Windows" policing work.

It was necessary to remove the large numbers of cops who thought of themselves not as tools to "serve and protect" but profiteers off crime.

And dislodging the police force from its old ideas about law enforcement was necessary to create the space for them to be psychologically receptive to new policing strategies. Getting cops to buy into "Broken Windows" policing was the hardest part of implementing it.

This doesn't really say anything positive or negative about Giuliani, but it seems like there is complexity and nuance that has been overlooked so far.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on November 14, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

The ad appears to be shot by Woody Allen - NYC without a single black person in it!

Posted by: martin on November 14, 2007 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with most here, that Giuliani is taking way more credit than he deserves for a trend that was nationwide. It was, in fact, a trend ALREADY UNDERWAY before he took office -- crime rates had been dropping for the last year or two of the Dinkins administration (a fact you'd never have known from hysterical local TV coverage in 1993). Rudy is like the guy who came in just as a recession was ending and claims he brought prosperity single-handedly.

But there's no sense trying to get these facts across. For many people, the myth of Rudy-saved-New-York is locked in stone (and you can bet the press won't let any facts get in the way of it). I'd actually argue that the 9/11 mantle was so firmly placed on him because it reinforced this already-in-place image. (Going back further, even his successful prosecutions of the 80s paved the way -- his public persona has really been fairly consistent, a big plus for him)

Fortunately he has other big problems: Bernie Kerik; his social-issue differences with GOP primary voters (which will matter -- it's only a question how much); and, above all, the Bush-induced pox on the GOP brand, which will make it close to impossible for even the best-situated Republican to win in '08.

Posted by: demtom on November 14, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Do you have any idea what the financial situation for NY was before Rudy and AFTER Rudy?

And on crime, do you know what the trend on crime was before during and after Rudy? Do you now where the money for the "Safe Street, Safe City" policy came from?

Do you know who was police commissioner BEFORE Rudy won? do you know who was Rudy's first Police commissioner? Do you know who was the only policie commissioner to be indicted for a felonies in the past 20 years and which Mayor appointed him?

How did Rudy do on education policy?

What do you think Mayors of NYC do?

Ignorant post.

Posted by: Armando on November 14, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Morning in New York City" will probably play for Rudy about as well as "Morning in America" did for Ronald Reagan.

That's a stretch, Kevin. Morning in America is widely considered among the most effective political ads ever made. Do you really think this is even in the same league? I doubt it. I agree that the perception of Rudy as an effective, get-it-done politician is widespread outside New York. Inside New York, however, is another story altogether. Rudy’s potential – and real – negatives are numerous and lethal. If Rudy makes it through the primaries, which is doubtful, he’d get destroyed by negative ads through the summer.

One more thing: Morning in America aired in the summer of 1984 after Reagan had been in office for a term. The country had emerged, mostly, from a nasty recession, and it looked like his long-ridiculed policies might indeed be paying off. You may remember that Reagan’s big slogan was “Stay the Course.” Rudy says in this commercial that something about his administration being hailed as the best example of conservative government in America. Do you really think anyone can win the presidency running as a conservative in 2008? What's he going to say: sure, the last eight years have been an abject failure, but let's try this conservatism thing again one more time! Please.

Posted by: pinson on November 14, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

The commercial gets some important facts wrong. True, crime is down a lot in New York, more so than in most other major cities, and Rudy may or may not deserve some of the credit. But New York always had a relatively low crime rate for a major city, even at its worst. Detroit, Houston, DC and Miami have and always have had much higher crime rates. And the Blue State north has much lower crime, poverty, divorse, welfare rates than the Red State south.

Posted by: Matt on November 14, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not so sure that Bush fiasco and Republican kleptocracy will be as tightly associated with Rudy! as opposed to McCain.

I think this is definitely something that Democratic strategist should be planning a counter-attack for.

I think that using his association with Bernie Kerik and getting some police and fire fighters to appear in ads against him would be the most effective in countering this appeal.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on November 14, 2007 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

David Dinkins raised the taxes that paid for the larger police force - which his successor reaped the political benefits of....thanks to Bratton.

Without that tax hike, no advances against crime would have been possible.

Posted by: Frank C on November 14, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, but the counter ad would feature Rudy turning NYC into a police state, a mob control government terrorist conrolling the people state, which of course is basically exactly what he did do.

Yeah, if you're city hires the Mafia to provide security, you have wonder what happened to all petty criminals, like, you know, did they end up at the bottom of the bay?

Posted by: Me_again on November 14, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I think people underestimate this appeal of Rudy's. (Including me, probably.)

Many Americans simply prefer law enforcement shoot first and cover up later in regards to suspected law breakers. The killing by an unarmed man in NYC the other day by the police, the subsequent rationalization by the police commissioner that the shooting was justified and the acceptance of this 'explanation' for the killing by many American voters is what Mr. Giuliani is counting on to win the Republican nomination for president.

Law and order appeals to many American voters. Even though innocent people have been killed for holding things like a burrito and suspects have been brutalized with broom handles by the police under Giuliani's leadership, it enhances his reputation.

Posted by: Brojo on November 14, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

We all know that NYC experienced a decrease in the crime rate during Giuliani's mayoralty. We can argue all we want that Giuliani is really taking credit for economic growth fostered by Clinton policies, but it's unlikely that we'll convince many people given what they've seen on TV news about the subject over the years. We might as well try to convince them that the collapse of the Soviet Union had more to do with the gradual deterioration of that country's ossified, vertically structured economy than with the actions of the supposedly heroic Ronald Reagan. (I know--I've tried.)

Rudy's bizarrely vindictive personality, however, is another matter. One thing I've seen no mention of is Giuliani's publicizing of Patrick Dorismond's juveline record after the latter was shot by NYC police. Rudy reflexively sided with the police before an investigation was even started (this was typical of him), and he then publicly announced the victim's conviction--as a juvenile--for smoking pot. How this was supposed to represent a defense of the police for shooting Dorismond after the latter refused to buy drugs from an undercover officer, I don't know.

There was a whole string of police shootings of black and hispanic men during the Rudy years. That fact, along with Giuliani's automatic support of the police in all cases, prior to investigation or trial, had a lot to do with the general fatigue & disgust most New Yorkers felt toward Rudy at the end of his term in office. A lot of that faded from view after 9/11, for obvious reasons, but it seems to me worth raising during this election season. Do we really want yet another president who arrives at conclusions before examining the evidence? Do we want someone in high office who is so reckless as to publicize the sealed record of a juvenile so as to ward off charges against an arm of his government by smearing the victim?

Posted by: dolphy on November 14, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Do you have any idea what the financial situation for NY was before Rudy and AFTER Rudy?

Yea, NYC was in the shitter for the 1970s and 1980s, and turned it around in the 1990s. I think the city is generally financially solid now.

Of course, the question is, did that have anything to do with Rudy? Or was it because of the 1990s economy, which was super-hot? That economy pumped up the big cities more than anyone else, because it was so technology-driven, and NYC is certainly a big city. I'd wager that factored into it a lot more than Rudy.

I guess it makes sense the Republican will think it all happened because he was such a strong Randian superleader (cult of personality is very strong in authoritarian circles, obviously), but most people realize that success is partly hard work, partly innate skill, and partly luck. There's really no evidence Rudy's success as mayor was any different. Actually there's plenty of evidence that luck was the biggest factor in Rudy's success, right-place right-time.

But Rudy is going to run with this and the press will let him. It remains to be seen, though, how effective it will be. There are plenty of people who can attack Rudy at his supposed strengths - the fire department, emergency preparedness people, etc. Unlike the Swift Boaters, who just made shit up, this stuff is actually true. If he gets the nomination, I expect these credible opponents to be blasting Rudy 24/7. That could take a lot of the shine off.

Posted by: Joshua on November 14, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

What did Giuliani do that the aging cohort of jds didn't accomplish?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on November 14, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

kevin: I think people underestimate this appeal of Rudy's.

well he did convince 3-women to marry him..

but don't forget...

one was a relative..

Posted by: mr. irony on November 14, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Allright, so when is anyone going to ask the really obvious question?

Rudy supports gay rights. He lived with two gay men for a while. He's appeared in drag in public.

Has Rudy ever had sex with a man?

If he was a Democrat, they'd ask. If he would admit it, I might even vote for him.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on November 14, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Und he also made ze trains run on time!

Posted by: Kenji on November 14, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Only one problem: most of America, especially conservative America, hates New York City and they hate hearing about it all the goddamn time. And that's all Rudy talks about. New York this. New York that. Then a little 9/11 and Islamofascists and then its back to New York. This doesn't really fly.

Posted by: Paul on November 14, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't we ask somebody like Amadou Diallo about "Morning in New York"?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 14, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Contrary to what some of the other commenters say, I wouldn't count on the police and firemen to denigrate Rudy. Remember, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, in a time of great national unity, an audience of firefighters booed Hillary Clinton. They may have fought with Rudy on pensions, but, fundamentally, white working class males are going to vote for Rudy. The Democrats will have to win over some suburban soccer moms if they want to defeat him.

Posted by: y81 on November 14, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy's hyperbole may play well with the unwashed Republican masses, but NYC never really liked him.

His tenure coincided with the '90s boom and a demographic shift, both of which contributed to lower crime rates nation wide. And, as someone else pointed out above, a lot of projects that came to fruition during Rudy's tenure (subway rehab for one) actually began under Dinkins.

Once it gets down to crunch time, and if Rudy has survived Kerik's trial, I would imagine you'll see a few negative ads running about how he actually didn't do shit post-9/11 and how the NYPD and FDNY don't really have much use for him.

Posted by: JeffII on November 14, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

This gets a lot of play for Rudy because he's still trying to win the primary and much of his success as a mayor was due to national improvements largely because of Clinton. No repub candidate is going to bring that up of course, so this line from Rudy gets largely ignored as countering it just boosts Dems and Clintons. If he were to win the nomination, I think this story line would lose a lot of weight and more of the negatives of his Mayoralship will come out.

Posted by: Fred F. on November 14, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Contrary to what some of the other commenters say, I wouldn't count on the police and firemen to denigrate Rudy.

Not true. Speaking as a New Yorker, they hate his guts. And what they can't forgive and will never forget is his clambering over the corpses of their fallen comrades to make a buck.

Posted by: Stefan on November 14, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

One reason I think Romney is more likely to win the rethug nomination is he's got achievements to run on without as many simmering scandals. Romney saved the Olympics. He's made a whole lot more money than Rudy, too.

True, he's not quite as authoritarian as Rudy (who could be!), but these accomplishments must count for something among Republican primary voters.

Posted by: Clem G. on November 14, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

The ad appears to be shot by Woody Allen - NYC without a single black person in it!

Posted by: martin

Which, of course, is the real message of the ad to Republicans, and the source of Rudy's real appeal to them.

Posted by: Jimmy Jazz on November 14, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think you're vastly overestimating the appeal of New York City. Remember the old headline, "Ford to NYC: Drop Dead"..? Most of America felt the same way.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on November 14, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Harpers mag is the best source on the marketing illusion of crime fighting Ghouliani.
-----------------------------
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/08/hbc-90000819

Zimring, the author of _ The Great American Crime Decline_, has spent a great deal of time studying how crime rates fell in the 1990s and finds Giuliani’s claims to be self-serving. First, he said, during Giuliani’s time as mayor criminal activity was declining nationwide. Homicide, rape, burglary and automobile theft all dropped between 37 and 41 percent in the 1990s, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports—all the result of social and policy changes that were taking place in New York and in the nation at large. Thus, according to Zimring, at least half—and as much as three-quarters—of that drop in New York crime “would have happened if Rudy Giuliani had never been born.”

Whatever portion is due to Rudy, he obviously intended to take credit for the whole shebang. As Zimring pointed out, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton and his deputy for crime control strategies, Jack Maple, instituted the use of COMPSTAT–an approach that maps criminal activity and targets problem areas—in 1994. By many accounts, COMPSTAT was a resounding success. So why, two years later, would Giuliani allegedly force Bratton out of office? Perhaps because Bratton made the cover of Time, taking the spotlight away from the mayor. (It took the two ten years to bury the hatchet.).

Giuliani also takes credit for the “aggressive street policing” policy he and Bratton implemented at the beginning of his tenure that allowed for more aggressive policing by New York’s officers, with crackdowns on offenses like subway-turnstile jumping. But the 35 percent increase in police staffing that added 13,000 new employees to the NYPD, which Zimring considers another driving force in the crime decline, began under Giuliani’s predecessor, David Dinkins, and then was continued by Giuliani. Crime declined each month during the last three years of the Dinkins’ administration, too.
--------------------------------------

Don't forget - Rudy didn't hire Bratton, Dinkins did. A lot of crime statistics in NYC, like police response time, noticeably declined during Ghouliani's time as mayor.

Posted by: Jan in Stone Mtn on November 14, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

What people fail to realize is that before Rudy, New York was a non-descript backwater, known only for its crime and its foul smelling water.

Rudy brought in sanitation, got rid of the indians, dammed the Hudson, invented jazz and created the Broadway musical.

Before Rudy, all entertainment was located in Newark; all business in New Rochelle; before Rudy the sky was black and the sea was red.

Rudy: he invented NYC.

Posted by: Dicksknee on November 14, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

But there's no sense trying to get these facts across.

It depends. Rudy is taking credit for something he didn't do, and he fired Bill Bratton for pointing that out. Any chance we can get Bill Bratton into an ad, or at least footage of the press conference that led to Rudy firing him?

It wasn't just something as abstract as "the economy" that helped -- Bratton was a huge part of the equation. And it's easier to point out that Rudy is taking credit for something that another person did than point out that he's taking credit for something "the economy" did, even though they're equally true.

Of course, we like Bratton here in LA right now because (a) our crime rate is way down and (b) when the LAPD busted heads during a protest, Bratton publicly apologized. You may need to be in LA to realize how unprecedented it is for an LAPD chief to say, "Our bad -- sorry about that."

Posted by: Mnemosyne on November 14, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

The great thing about the Republican primary is that by the time they get to South Carolina, all the candidates will have been completely slimed by the other candidates. Not that I approve of character assasination and whispering campaigns, but....

Posted by: jimmy on November 14, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry. Meant to say police response time increased, not decreased. And indictments leading to a conviction decreased. A lot.

Posted by: Jan in Stone Mtn on November 14, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Yea, NYC was in the shitter [financially] for the 1970s and 1980s, and turned it around in the 1990s"

Um, not true, I think. In the early '80's the City recovered from a disastrous situation in the mid-70's. In the mid-'80's financial boom, the City did just fine under Mayor Ed Koch, thank you, due to the situation of the national economy. Then, from '88 through the end of the Bush I recession, and a local popping of a big housing bubble, not so good, and Mayor Dinkins presided over deficits. Then under Clinton, good.

Basically, the City's finances follow that of the country as a whole, being particularly sensitive to problems in the financial and housing sectors, which were incredibly healthy under Giuliani. Watch out ahead, however ...

Posted by: David in NY on November 14, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that the Democrats won't learn from their "enemies". Karl Rove already described the strategy - attack his (perceived) strengths. Talk about:

1. How he really didn't do squat for NYC.

2. He fired the best police commissioner they ever had.

3. The one he hired is a crook.

4. He put the emergency command center where everyone, and common sense, said not to put it, so he could go there with his girlfriend.

5. The cops and firefighters hate his guts.

Attack!

Posted by: alex on November 14, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

One think Giuliani did preside over was making the Times Square area into a mall infested by Disney productions. The tourist heading into the musical extravaganzas meant for them love it. I prefer Brooklyn.

Posted by: David in NY on November 14, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Only one problem: most of America, especially conservative America, hates New York City.../i>

I don't know about most of America, but red-state Republicans certainly do--although "hates New Yorkers" is probably more accurate.

And that's all Rudy talks about. New York this. New York that. Then a little 9/11 and Islamofascists and then its back to New York. This doesn't really fly.

Ah, but he talks about how he saved New York from its lawless, hedonistic, peep show-attending, jaywalking, black self despite its protestations. What a good little authoritarian he is! I always smile when New Yorkers here tell us how much bullshit Rudy's "I saved the city" line is--hey, we know that. But red America doesn't know that, and I really don't think it's going to care even if Rudy's lies, exaggerations and outright failures eventually get properly publicized.

The fact that New Yorkers hate Giuliani's guts only proves to America's Republicans that he's the strong, brook-no-dissent father figure they think this country needs.

Posted by: shortstop on November 14, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

alex. that was perfect.

Posted by: Jan in Stone Mtn on November 14, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

As a New Yorker who lived in this city since 1987, I cannot believe this. Rudy did nothing but polarize the city. Clearly Rudy is suggesting that the 80's and the early 90's never actually happened, and that the city found itself in a mysterious time warp which somehow took it directly from 1978 to 1993 without an intervening 15 years of Wall Street rallies, mass gentrification, reduction in interest rates for residential development (18% in 1981 vs. 7% in 1993), reduction in crime and drug use, etc. What improved under Rudy would've improved faster without him, and what got worse -- race relations, and the punishing of the poor due to gentrification, immediately come to mind -- is all that he contributed to.

I can't believe anyone takes the guy seriously. I feel like the firemen who see him take personal credit for 9/11 while the reality of it was that the defective radios and other flaws in administration he presided over killed hundreds.

Maybe everyone here should start a "New Yorkers Who Survived Rudy" campaign to tell the truth about this clown.

Posted by: Diana on November 14, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

also, I think Shortstop nails it.

Posted by: Diana on November 14, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

This should have been a no-brainer for the Rudy folks. Yes, he benefited from falling crime rates nationwide and a growing national economy, but in fairness to him, he did make cleaning up the streets and Times Sq a priority. The fact that he did so in the midst of a perfect storm of events falls under Branch Ricky's definition of luck, that it is the residue of design.

However, by highlighting his NY record, he will also have to answer questions of his heavy-handed methods, how he did not get along with others, and forced his own agencies to use the courts to force him to obey the law.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on November 14, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Again, lower levels of crime in NYC could actually be due less to deterrence and enforcement than to the decrease in toxic environmental lead levels. I hate it if this is true, because environmentalists should have this victory, and because it allows an egomaniac to claim all the credit for something he may probably have had very little to do with.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/magazine/21wwln-idealab-t.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/L/Lead&pagewanted=all

Posted by: MMMM on November 14, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

I lived in NYC during that time, and many here in this thread hae made excellent points countering the ad...

I know its bullshit, as do many New Yokers, and knowledgable observers from around the country. But the ad isn't for us/them.

The truth is, the ad is good. Very Good. And it will work.

Posted by: Mr Furious on November 14, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

I lived in New York before and after Rudy and, let me tell you, the ambiance of the town changed markedly and for the better under his tenure, even if he is a royal asshole. I no longer felt I had to constantly monitor my surroundings. Drug addicts were no longer deciding who and who didn't get into some of our parks. For the first time in my life New York felt safe—a feeling that was abundantly validated by crime statistics. By the time his second term was close to ending I, like a lot of people, was pretty sick of the guy. But Kevin's right. Rudy DID accomplish something big and good, his crude, viscious egomania nonwithstanding.

Posted by: Hieronymus Braintree on November 14, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

http://nypdconfidential.com/

More info on Kerik-Giuliani.

Posted by: JeffII on November 14, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

If Rudy becomes my dad, I'm getting a tattoo and dating a girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

Posted by: Bush Lover on November 14, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Drug addicts were no longer deciding who and who didn't get into some of our parks.

The four major park clean-ups that took place in Manhattan the 1990s (I rarely went to the outer boroughs) were various sections of Central Park, Riverside Park (both of which included a lot of private money), Bryant Park behind the library and, as I recall, Tompkins Square. All these were begun/finished during Dinkins' time in office

For the first time in my life New York felt safe—a feeling that was abundantly validated by crime statistics. . . But Kevin's right. Rudy DID accomplish something big and good, his crude, viscious egomania nonwithstanding. Posted by: Hieronymus Braintree

Again, this was a national trend linked to a booming economy and shifting demographics (a decline nationally in males in the 18-25 age group).

None of this had squat to do with Giuliani or any particular initiative of his. Squeegee-men, while annoying, were more pathetic than anything.

As other posters have pointed out, Bratton, who was hired by Dinkins, should get what little credit the NYPD deserves for "cleaning up" certain areas.

Posted by: JeffII on November 14, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect that an awful lot of his popularity comes less from that than from the widespread idea that he actually accomplished something.

More like something happened that Giuliani takes credit for.

The things that really drove down crime ie hiring more police officers and comstat were done on Dinkin's watch. Granted, Giuliani kept Bratton on for a while, but that seems a no brainer after what Bratton accomplished.

NYPD hates Giuliani.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on November 14, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I remember reading an article in the New Yorker that profiled the NY policeman who came up with the plan using geographical information to reduce crime in NYC. He had been a regular beat cop. Giuliani and Bratton receive recognition, but this person, whose name I cannot remember, is never mentioned. I think he was working in New Orleans when the article was written.

Posted by: Brojo on November 14, 2007 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

The truth is, the ad is good. Very Good. And it will work.
Posted by: Mr Furious on November 14, 2007 at 3:21 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Agreed. Considering the voters targeted with this ad, it will work very well. If he receives the nomination, however, expect this line of propaganda to instantly disappear for one better suited for all the voters.

I am puzzled that on one else brought this up. Anyone else remember when Rudy tried to postpone the mayoral election of 2001 because the city "needed his experience" during that emergency? And the HUGE outcry afterwards? Seems to me a video of that speech would make an excellent anti-Rudy campaign ad, considering the assault on the Constitution the current admin has made.

Posted by: bob in fla on November 14, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

I remember reading an article in the New Yorker that profiled the NY policeman who came up with the plan using geographical information to reduce crime in NYC. He had been a regular beat cop. Giuliani and Bratton receive recognition, but this person, whose name I cannot remember, is never mentioned. I think he was working in New Orleans when the article was written.

His name was Jack Maple, and he was a goddam hero. He'd begun as a transit cop taking down subway muggers, and eventually worked his way up deputy commissioner, in which post he developed the COMSTAT system, which revolutionized crime fighting. Jack was also a well-known man about town, instantly recognizable in his fedora, bow ties, and spats, and I'd often see him drinking at Elaine's and McMullen's. Sadly, Jack died of colon cancer in 2002 at the age of 49.

Posted by: Stefan on November 14, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

the NY'ers on this thread are not representative of most NY'ers. most NY'ers view Guiliani with grudging respect. yes, they were sick of him right before 9/11 but they are also thankful for what he was partially responsible for accomplishing.

btw, more minorities were killed by police under Dinkins than under Guiliani. fact.

you'll get a few Brooklyn/LES Critical Mass types whining about the "gestapo state" stuff..and there's a disproportionate number of that type writing in the blogosphere but they don't actually represent most NY'ers.

Posted by: With all respect on November 14, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

the most infuriating thing about bush also applies to giuliani: both were in primo positions of power when 9/11/9/11/9/11/9/1/9/11/9/11/911intoinfinity happened.

yet it never had to happen.

when the world trade center was attacked in 1993 under clinton/dinkins, it was horrific but not mind-blowingly horrific, and the system worked -- very few people died; perps were brought to trial and convicted; america held to its core beliefs. eight years later, two strutting republicans allowed so much worse to happen and then took credit . . . for what, exactly? both claim to be able to "keep america safe." and both failed from the git-go.

those of us new yorkers who have lived through blackouts wondered what kind of idiot would install his "bunker" in a building not just next to a proven terrorist target but one totally dependent on a very long elevator ride in an emergency. for all his pit bull swagger, the guy has roach excreta for brains.

Posted by: gastropoda on November 14, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Did he happen to thank Bill Clinton.


The entire country turned around under him.

He failed to mention that.

Posted by: langx on November 14, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

His name was Jack Maple

Thanks.

Posted by: Brojo on November 14, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Partially responsible for accomplishing?"

You mean, "In office while rate drop occurred,"

How many people have to be manhandled, beaten or shot before you feel safe? Maybe you should be responsible for your own personal feeling of safety?

http://www.cssny.org/pubs/urbanagenda/1998_12_17.html

btw, more minorities were killed by police under Dinkins than under Guiliani. fact.

I suppose this makes it all okay? You justify the brutality because some of Rudy's predecessors MAY have been MORE brutal?

In that case, we should no longer worry about rogue states and IRon fisted dictators, since none can be as brutal as Hitler was.

Posted by: Eason on November 14, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Will a nation of attention deficit disordered, instant gratification morons fall for the cult of personality surrounding Rudy? Of course!

Our culture instills in us neither the desire nor the skill to see things as they are. We want heroes who ride into town on their white horse and kick ass and take names. That's never what really happens in boring reality - so many other variables actually make the difference, but we want a HUMAN narrative with heroes and villains.

New York City of the 70s is the villain and Rudy is the hero.

We get the government we deserve.

Republican, especially, adore having a monarch while spouting of aphorisms about "personal responsibility" and ending "big government."

Give us our bread and circuses!!!

See the recent film "Idiocracy" for where this will all lead.

Rudy kicks ass!!!

Posted by: lobbygow on November 14, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Ed Rendell has gotten a lot of mileage out of the idea that he saved Philadelphia during the same time frame. I think a lot of places improved while Rendell and Rudy were mayors. Most of the benefitted directly from the overall Clinton-era economic boom. I've always thought Rendell was in the right place at the right time and was a good enough politician to take credit for everything.

Rendell has done well as our Governor too.

I think people underestimate this appeal of Rudy's. (Including me, probably.) Sure, 9/11 is still his meal ticket...

I agree. His stock was high based on NYC's turnaround, whoever you atttribute it to.

Posted by: SJRSM on November 14, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

I have one big problem with Rudy playing up being mayor of New York City all the time: he acts as though being president will be a piece of cake compared to being mayor.

Maybe it's because as mayor, he didn't have access to nuclear weapons.

Posted by: xaxnar on November 14, 2007 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

How would we ever know if he had anything to do with it?

He refused any sort of audits, and the country as a whole did better (including crime rates) in those years.

What did he do to achieve it, and how is it proven?

Posted by: Crissa on November 14, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Mnemosyne: I'd love to see Romney spring Bratton into an ad during the California primary.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 14, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Not only should Rudy keep his 9/11 meal ticket, but he oughta stay in the 9/11 welfare line, too!

Posted by: Cynthia on November 14, 2007 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Fer cryin' out loud.

Romney runs against Massachusetts, where he was governor. Giuliani runs against New York, where he was Mayor. If either is elected (or comes to the office in some other way) President, they'll hate America. Isn't that what Democrats are supposed to do?

Note from Planet Earth: During the same time Julie was Mayor of NYC, cities with liberal mayors also experienced a reduction in crime. We can't repeat that enough.

Posted by: thersites on November 14, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

It is unfortunate that the Rudy turned NY around meme will resonate a lot better than the Democratic response, that during Rudy's tenure, 1994 - 2000, crime statistics were dropping over the nation as a whole. And whatever Rudy's contribution, it probably wouldn't have been enough to "turn things around" without the national policies of Bill Clinton. Crime stats are on the upswing again, for the first time in over a decade and a half, and electing Rudy POTUS will help insure that that upward trend will continue.

Posted by: majun on November 14, 2007 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Watching the video, I got the impression that minorities were rounded up during his tenure in New York, so urban whites could enjoy the scene...
Between firefighters hating his guts, and New Yorkers calling into CSPAN, saying how
mean-spirited and petty he was, PLUS, Judith Regan accusing him of telling her to hush up the affair to protect him--Rudy is toast. Olbermann, my next husband in my dreams, called
the new scandal "Rudy Awakening." hahahahahahahhahahhahaha

And McCain guffawing over an audience member (planted??) calling Mrs. Clinton a "bitch," will harm him. Mysogyny will not cut it--ask any woman.
Egregious.

Posted by: consider wisely always on November 14, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy's idea that fixing the little stuff helps fight the culture of crime etc: why not apply that to economic misconduct, and start enforcing all those little rules about business contracts, illegal questions on employment apps, etc?

Posted by: !!! on November 14, 2007 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

ObsidianWingsblog nails it:

"... First, a number of the Republican candidates for President are running on their appearance of toughness on national security, not on any actual national security credentials. Giuliani is the most obvious case: as I said when I noted the first of these stories in comments, a guy who pushes Bernard Kerik for Secretary of Homeland Security years after being briefed that Kerik is connected to the mob is really not someone you want to elect in order to keep us safe. He just isn't.

"When someone is running on an appearance that has no basis in fact, you can expect stories like the one about the Iraq study group, stories that show that given a choice between performing a real service to his country and its security on the one hand, and self-interest on the other, he chooses self-interest..."

Yep--consider wisely, all right. It is remniscent of Bush cronyism, good-old-boy politics,
and I really resent the orwellian psychology of nine eleven that Rudy has frequently used.
Like the headache commercial--apply directly to the forehead. Nine eleven, apply directly to the forehead.
Despicable.

Posted by: consider wisely always on November 14, 2007 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

And he truly did it, almost single-handedly; I am a witness. He refused to conduct business as usual and the efforts fed upon one another year after year, exponentially improving life in NYC over his 8 years. Bloomberg is just riding in his wake.

Food for thought for you Democrats; the domestic crisis in the USA is largely an urban crisis. Do you think Clinton or Obama with their Great Society mentality that created the urban blight are capable of fixing urban America; no; they'll just pay city residents for their vote in cash and in kind while the urban nightmare continues. Rudy will fight to fix the problem even if he has to take on the entrenched interests.

He'll be the next president, if not Romney. And I'll tell you why; he's quantum leaps more intelligent, eloquent, charming, and informed than anyone else and than 90% of the USA realizes. As Chris Matthews says, Giuliani is the most impressive person he has a guest because he is ready any time to take on a tough question; and his answers are always like written paragraphs. And he laughs at himself, too.

The Ds are done in '08.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on November 14, 2007 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who says Giuliani took credit for Koch or Dinkins work is trying to put one over on you; from crime, to education, to municipal employees, to taxes, Giuliani was a typhoon chaning 180 degrees the policies of David Dinkins in some cases; shifting Dinkins hesitating approach in others. Does anyone really believe Dinkins was pressing hard for cops to really work the inner-city petty crime problems?

Giuliani lifted NYC out of the gutter virtually single-handedly; of course Reagan having fixed the USA nationally helped (note Clinton left Reagan's tax regime 95% in place; passed Welfare Reform; and passed NAFTA-Mexico ... our little Regan in Democrat's clothing).

Giuliani fixed New York ... QED.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on November 14, 2007 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Comedic.

I'm reading some of these posts; Giuliani was "tolerated" by some of you because you had to tolerate him; you see he was winning support more and more with each passing year and would have easily won a third term (with Bloomberg he virtually did). I think he had something like 60 or 70% of the Democratic vote. And the reason so many people hated him is that in fixing NYC he was ending their Democratic Boss Tweed pay-off scheme, including Policemen and Firemen (who do do noble work).

Comedic.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on November 14, 2007 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. So of all the politicians running, only one even claims to have accomplished anything, and that seems to be a load of crap.

No wonder there's serious disaffection in the voting public.

Posted by: MFB on November 15, 2007 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

Rudy was the largest beneficiary of the tech bubble, since NYC benefits disproportionately from a stock boom. And almost every major city rode the wave of enormous prosperity during the Clinton years. New York also benefited from his CPOP program, which put more cops on the street. The drop in crime was in part due to economic improvement and further facilitated by Bill Bratton's policies as police commissioner, before he was forced out for getting too much credit for things he actually did.

So New York largely has Bratton and Clinton to thank for the turnarounds in crime and economic fortunes. We have Rudy to thank for using the city coffers for multiple frivilous, ego-driven lawsuits, a cult of secrecy and loyalty in the mayor's office that put the Bush administration and the Mafia to shame, and a series of petty, stupid ordinances that mostly just made people crazy. (Anyone remember the stone barriers in the middle of some streets, forcing everybody to cross at the corner? Were matronly crossing guards far behind?)

Oh, and of course we can thank him for his refusal to upgrade the police and firefighters' radios, for putting the emergency command center in the World Trade Center complex, against the advice of security experts, and for doing essentially nothing to prepare NYC for a terrorist attack, even though there had already been one within the year before he took office.

If you hated the megalomania, petty tyranny, and incompetence of the Guiliani years, blame Rudy. If you liked the turnarounds in crime and the economy, thank Bratton and Clinton.

Posted by: sullijan on November 15, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

I don't like Rudy at all. But this is the best campaign ad I've seen in years.

Posted by: tom veil on November 15, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, the question is, did that have anything to do with Rudy? Or was it because of the 1990s economy, which was super-hot? That economy pumped up the big cities more than anyone else, because it was so technology-driven, and NYC is certainly a big city. I'd wager that factored into it a lot more than Rudy.

The fact that Rudy was NOT David Dinkins is your answer, in a nutshell.

I don't know what it was that turned New York into a nightmare apocalyptic wasteland in the 1980s. It certainly was a lawless, violent city. I lived there and worked there and, except for trips to see family, I did not leave the city for fear of having my residence occupied by squatters or old people. There were a nuisance in those days--you couldn't take vacation time or stay out overnight because you'd come home and they would have blown open the front door and roasted chickens or a small dog in the bathtub. Their caravan equipment would be stacked everywhere and by the time you drove them off the fire escape, you'd have to have someone come and repair the locks on the door.

There were definitely parts of mid-town where you had to have a weapon on you at all times--there just weren't enough police. Restaurants were the worst--I would often eat just a few blocks from home and discharge the weapons four or five times to ward off muggers and hookers. Then the hoodlums started bring AK-47s into the city and firing them out of the backs of vans in order to rob liquor stores, which meant you had to stay out of the liquor stores after a certain time of night. They would blast open the door, shoot everything in sight, grab some cash, and drive off.

The worst scourge were the kids with razor blades, who cut your pants pockets open and stole your wallet or your pocket change. Thank goodness we did not have cellular telephones in those days! I had several in my car at one point, but they kept getting stolen.

During the Dinkins era, women did not go out alone and men had to move about the city in small packs. It truly was the worst era in the history of the city of New York. Rudy fixed all of that. He sent the hoodlums packing to other cities on buses and he drove out the riff raff. Every American city needs a mayor who bends the rules and exports the common class of thieves and beggars who ruin life for everyone else.

When I was a child, the worst thing you could be was a bum or a professional bowler. Nowadays, the stigma of being homeless or indigent no longer exists--hence, we have whole entire cities full of people who beg for a living and wait for the government to give them a fat check each week. How pathetic.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on November 15, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Norman, did Rudi chase off the riff-raff with his trusty old .22 all by himself? But if every American city had such a major, where would the thieves and beggars go? Thank god for Baltimore and DC, I suppose.

The Objective Historian, isn't it a shame Rudi didn't just use his superpowers to single-handedly prevent the collapse of the twin towers? I suppose he must have been boning his mistress somewhere across town that day because he could have hardly failed to notice the uproar if he had been in the emergency response center at the scene of the attack!

Posted by: mpowell on November 15, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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