Following on the heels of the Bernard Kerik embarrassments, this should make Rudy Giuliani toast, but in the current campaign climate, it probably doesn’t:
Rudy Giuliani faced fresh questions about his judgment last night amid claims that trysts with his mistress while he was New York’s Mayor cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.
The Republican presidential fronout trunner’s record as New York mayor is already facing closer scrutiny after the indictment this month of his close friend Bernard Kerik, whom Mr Giuliani appointed as the city’s police chief.
According to records obtained by a respected US political website, Mr Giuliani billed New York City for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for his security detail, who accompanied him on trips to Long Island while he visited his mistress.
Giuliani says he had police protection 24/7, and the bill-paying arrangements were handled by somebody else, appropriately, as far as he knows. Maybe, maybe not. But this shows how officials’ private lives can spill into their public duties.
I said it about Bill Clinton, and I’ll say it about Giuliani. It is a false distinction to try to draw a line between our politicians’ private and public lives. What they do in private, they will do in public. If they lie to the people closest to them and make their political friends cover for them, they will lie to the public and make that all our baggage. Their private lives reveal their characters, and that tells us how they will govern.
What a depressing race this is turning out to be. As a libertarian/conservative, I naturally look to the Republicans first. Giuliani’s despicable character rules him out. Mitt Romney’s too-slick conversion to conservative principles is not believable. Mike Huckabee is a fundamentalist on social issues and a tax-and-spend liberal on economic issues, pretty much my worst nightmare. Ron Paul can’t win, and John McCain couldn’t govern. That pretty much leaves Fred Thompson as the last man standing.
The Democrats? There are only three to talk about. We are facing the collapse of government under the weight of entitlement spending, and all Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards can talk about is how much more government to add for education entitlements, universal health care and on and on. And there’s not a one of them I would feel secure with as the commander in chief in a dangerous world. The only one marginably acceptable is Clinton, who at least seems to have a grasp of the concept of national security and might let common sense moderate her appetite for government spending.
So, Thompson vs. Clinton, not the race I’m predicting or one I would love, but one I could at least vote in without shooting myself after making a choice.