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October 02, 2007


It's interesting to note that he has flared up rather nastily when cell phones have rung in the audiences when he's been speaking. At one time, he halted his speech, rebuked the person whose phone had rung, and would not continue until she had answered and got off the phone.

I agree that this is really weird. I think it's just him (1) trying to be cutesy and (2) ignoring staff people who say it's stupid. if i have it right, it's actually pretty scary b/c it means he doesn't listen to people (and we see how well that works out)

Please. It's an act, a staged event-within-the-event of the speech. No rational human being is going to take fucking telephone calls during a speech unless it's been planned in advance. Come on. It's a goddam COMMERCIAL. It happens once, maybe it's real. It happens 41 times, it's Rudy Giuliani telling America how stupid he thinks we are.

Profanity violates the posting rules. (Think of our readers who work behind filters, and want to read us.)

I'm not sure if this should make me laugh or be frightened. Lots of people would like to have a beer with Rudy after all...

"how on earth will he be able to stand up to Osama bin Laden?????"

I personally loath Guliani, for a number of reasons, but I'd venture to suggest the answer to that question is, "By not being married to Bin Laden".

Once or twice might be legitimate, but 41 times? Got to be deliberate artifice. I mean, otherwise he'd be handing his cell phone to an aide for the duration of speeches, right?

I think she knows that he couldn't win the republican nomination if he was in the middle of divorce proceedings, and thus has used that as leverage to make him do things like take her calls no matter what, and terrorize his staff.

I agree with spaghetti happens (minus the naughty bits) and Brett Bellmore. This is deliberate.

My best guess as to why is that he thinks this innoculates him against charges stemming from his abysmal treatment of his second wife (Oh, he loves his current wife so much, he couldn't possibly have been that cruel to the prior one!). This is a view which strikes me as insane, but given our politics this year has been devoted to trivia like the authenticity of Hillary's laugh and the cost of John Edwards' haircuts, my definition of insanity may not be the same as the rest of the country's.

someone needs to put a reporter with his wife during the speeches: find out if it's even his wife who's calling.

Hilzoy, I’m going to assume this doesn’t break our truce on haircuts vs. trophy wives as it’s dirt on my own (nominal) side. I found it rather eye opening anyway. It seems that it is much safer to take calls from her than to have her actually attend any events.

From The Corner yesterday:

The albatross around Giuliani's neck at the moment is his third wife, Judith. (John Fund's column in the WSJ today is great on the cell phone/rudeness problem.) Perhaps we should be wondering why he takes those cell phone calls. Is he trying to show that the relationship is strong and loving? Why would we question that? Is she really angry at him, such that he needs to placate her — or — what? She will leave? She will reveal something? Why is she so clingy and insecure? Is that her personality? (And why didn’t he see it before he married her?) Or does she have cause?

The problem with being a thrice-married man, whose children don’t speak to him, who wants the American people to trust his judgment, is that there is no wiggle room on the personal behavior front. Not one inch. Judith is a liability and a half. She is vulgar, uneducated, grasping and insecure — and has failed to keep those attributes hidden. She offends major donors right and left by being rude — especially to their wives, especially the attractive wives. It is hard to imagine the kind of graciousness and equanimity that we like to see in First Ladies emerging from her little bag of tricks. BUT—- Rudy is stuck. He publicly ditched two previous wives to get to her. He is said to be less starry-eyed about his bride these days. But this time he is going to have to work things out.

I had to look at the banner twice to confirm that the link actually took me to NRO!

This however I find to be very good news:

social conservatives discussed leaving the Republican Party if Rudy Giuliani wins the nomination.

This may be the best reason to nominate him I have yet heard.

he just does it -- purposely --for 2 reasons:
1) to maintain a "human" image (as in I'm just a regular henpecked Clark Kent underneath the 9-11 superhero) and 2) to draw attention away from the fact that he's probably got a girlfriend (and 3) to convince the girlfriend that he's not leaving judy for her)

remember all you non-NYCers -- this is a deeply twisted guy you are trying to analyze

those of us who lived with him for all those years know -- the rest of you still haven't figured this out -- that he's under the control of "little rudy"

Another explanation is that Judi does not want Rudy to be President. So she is sabotaging his campaign.

I had to look at the banner twice to confirm that the link actually took me to NRO!

Until you got to the Clinton-bashing at the end, presumably.

It's a contest between the amount of minutes publicly spent luving a lady vs. the amount of minutes publicly spent dolled-up like one.

And, I just now visualized Giuliani addressing the NRA in his Marilyn Monroe drag. Hot!

When I first saw the video of Giuliani pulling this stunt my reaction was, "I hope it's all staged, because otherwise it really seems like he's too scared of his wife not to take her call." I showed my wife and she had the exact same reaction.

Now that I know it's happened 41 times, my belief is (1) it's really his wife, (2) it's a power game on her part, and (3) he really is afraid not to let her have her way.

I caught tape of the phone call during the NRA speech and thought "What the heck?"

Then, I figured it had to be a pandering act of some kind, given the proclivities of Wayne LaPierre, which might have gone like this:

Rudy: (smiling sheepishly at the crowd) Hello, honey.

Judi: Your Honor .... you don't mind if I call you that, do you? ...... I think there's a prowler downstairs.... I can't remember where we keep the AK-47. Do you ....

Rudy: Alright, listen, .... Donna got the AK-47 in the settlement, so you'll have to use the shoulder-mounted missile launcher, which I keep in the 9/11 Memorial Vault inside the 9/11 Memorial Closet (glances up at audience, points to phone, shrugs and giggles) right around the corner from the glass case holding the 9/11 WTC Memorial replica statue of me removing my cigar humidor from the Mayor's Beddybye Emergency Bunker, conveniently located next to the Towers with ample parking in the rear, on 9/10.

Ammo? Sock drawer, second from the top.

And, yes, you may call me anything you like, Mr. President perchance?, my little fire-breathing viper.

Judi: after a long pause filled with prolonged gunfire and several explosions (phone held up so NRA members can climax, umm, I mean, overhear): I surprised them and I think I got them, but you're not going to believe this, one of the guys was Bernie Kerik, and the last thing he said was that he was just testing our personal homeland security. Then something about a bag ....Why didn't you tell me he might be coming over?

Rudy: (a frozen smile on his face, a vein pulsating along his hairline and a sudden flop sweat drenching him): Honey, way to go! (gives a quick O.K. high sign to the audience) Look, I've gotta go. Call me back at the Hilton .. I'm speaking to the American Federation of Short Guys With Mussolini Complexes .... O.K..... love you, too, my venomous little schnookums spider..

Rudy flips his phone shut and asks the audience "Where was I?"

Alternatively, of course, Bob Newhart might have been calling. Or maybe it was Spooky Old Alice looking for Georgie Gobel ... who knows?

either shes got great oral skills or a really good (for her) pre-nup or both

The prenup says she gets to take his last chance of being elected President with her if he divorces her. ;) But she got cheated, that chance is worth next to nothing anyway.

John T.,

Excellent, even by your inflated standards.



My standards went off the gold standard a long time ago. Thus the inflation.

Drum is right, and Hilzoy underestimates Giuliani's arrogance -- you think he's going to listen to his staff?

I think it would bbe fun to post his cell phone number onn thhe innternets so we all can call him.

You know, if I was some political donor who was expecting a nice speech in exchange for my cash, and the donee decides to interrupt said speech for a phone call, I think after about 20 seconds (enough time for information about an emergency to be relayed), I would shout out "Hang up the damn phone!"

I'm torn between hoping and fearing that Giuliani will get the Republican nomination. He seems like the one most likely to self-destruct, and if he's going to it would be nice if he could hold on until after he gets the nomination. But then if he doesn't self-destruct before the general election, we may end up with the worst of the Republicans who have a shot as president. A Giuliani presidency could make us long for the Bush years.

I agree with KCinDC in a way, I don't want Giuliani within a fall campaign of the presidency. His opposition has been known to screw up big leads.

The problem is that I can't really point to a 'safe' GOP candidate -- aside from Ron Paul, I suppose.

Yow, some of the Paul supporters in that thread are pretty creepy, Thomas.

OT (sort of) anyone see Greenwald's excerpt of Giuliani advisor Norman Podhoretz's article from 1963? Frightening stuff.

Mattbastard is ripping new ones all over that Ron Paul thread.

I love the fact that after thirty years of the Republican Party building its coalition of every lunatic segment of society, one of the original lunatics, Ron Paul, has decided to show everyone what truly competent lunacy looks like.

No wonder Redstate has spent so much time badmouthing Paul --- they're afraid of him, because if there is anything a faux lunatic can't handle, it's the real item.

That some young former progressives have drunk the poison as well shows the ultimate brilliant incompetence of George Bush in bringing us all together in one final paroxysm of indignant, wrecking righteousness.

It's lucky Paul's platform calls for allowing the carrying of weapons of mass destruction in the National Parks, because after he abolishes the Federal Reserve System, most banking regulation, and all free trade agreements, and the stock market crashes, immediately bankrupting the new private Social Security accounts and all pension systems, he's going to need a place to set up camp and make a last stand.

But then if he doesn't self-destruct before the general election

Not a chance.

I'm loving this. Just hoping he can hang on long enough to win the early primaries and sweep his way to the nomination. He's batsh!t insane.

My vote for why he does this: #3 -- does not believe the rules for others apply to him. See: Insistence against all advice that the command center be in WTC Building 7, within walking distance of his office...so that he could pop over for quickies.

Oh, please let the Republicans nominate him.

There is the little drawback that a Clinton-Giuliani presidential choice will probably result in the lowest turnout in my county since Nixon-McGovern, but hey.

I don't know Nell, constant videos of Rudi after 9/11 may carry more votes than you think. I hope you're right though.

Nell, how did you feel about the Republicans' nominating the obviously inept George W. Bush in 2000?

how about constant videos of him after 9-11 trying to get his mayoral term extended --

my 2 cents took the words right out of my mouth.

@KCinDC: I figured Bush for a formidable candidate, even though I knew he was an incurious dim bulb and an entitled little right-wing sh*t who'd never accomplished anything on his own.

The economy was soaring, many voters figured he'd have help from all Poppa's people, and no one was going to look too hard at what might be behind the nice guy front.

We're in a different world, Giuliani has an impossible-to-cover-up past forged in the biggest city and media capital of the country, he's just not that likeable a guy, and Democrats aren't on the defensive (as much as they were in 2000, anyway).

As I said when von brought his name up here just after the elections last November: Republicans can do much better.

But, thanks to Fox Corp., the grip racists have on the party, and a few other factors, they probably won't.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch. Is that a phone I hear ringing?

Sorry about the profanity. I'll do better next time, I promise. Thanks for not bumping it, too.

People like Giuliani just tend to bring it out of me.

If you want to read some good coverage of Giuliani, there are a lot of good postings over at the Group News Blog (the group of commentators that have picked up the torch from Steve Gilliard's blog--R.I.P, Gilly.) Especially LowerManhattanite's posts--the full, unvarnish NYCer's opinion of Giuliani.

The problem is that most of the country doesn't care -- and in fact explicitly disavow -- what actual NYCers think. Never understood it, but there it is: they want the illusion of NYC, not the real thing.

its true

america thinks nyc is part of europe

its amazing middle america actually rallied around the issue of 9-11 -- you'd think america would have shrugged it off as if it happened in Paris (since they view us equally with the detested french)

maybe thats it -- america thinks le rudy is pepe le pew, all debonair and sophisticated

He seems like the one most likely to self-destruct, and if he's going to it would be nice if he could hold on until after he gets the nomination. But then if he doesn't self-destruct before the general election, we may end up with the worst of the Republicans who have a shot as president.

It's getting really hard to keep trying to save this country from its idiots. If anywhere near 50% of American voters pick this guy, the US deserves everything that it's got coming.

"but there it is: they want the illusion of NYC, not the real thing."

Actually, we don't want the illusion, either, but try convincing NYC based media companies of that.

Guliani has a frighteningly good chance of getting the Republican nomination by a plurality, in a divided field. After which he'd go down to defeat. An anti-gun, pro-choice Republican can no more take the White house than a right to work, pro-life Democrat could. You just can't piss off that big a part of your party's base, and still expect to win.

You just can't piss off that big a part of your party's base, and still expect to win.

But, but. . . Brett - he he has maps that prove the is the juggernaught ready to steamroll Hitlery Clagina :p

Mattbastard is ripping new ones all over that Ron Paul thread.

Why thank you, Mr. Thullen. Actually, I'm most proud of this post (with apologies to Chuck Norris and his mighty CKRHK).

We got invaded thanks to a Lew Rockwell post that initially misinterpreted Mick's intent as laudatory, rather than disturbed. The update noting the cult-like tendencies of Paul's followers soon erased any doubt, thus provoking Lew to subsequently scrub the link. But by then the post had spread among the Paulites like a new rEVOLution t-shirt design.

And they won't leave.

BTW, did you know that the CFR wants ONE WORLD GOV'T - and that a NUMBER OF DEMS AND REPUBS ARE CFR MEMBERS?!!?!?!!?!11

Oh, those crafty 'international bankers'.


Actually, we don't want the illusion, either, but try convincing NYC based media companies of that.

I've never seen a market here in the Heartland Of America(tm) for what real live New Yorkers actually think, but maybe your experiences have been different. Instead, what I usually see is a bunch of Midwesterners either claiming to speak on behalf of Americans everywhere using NYC as a proxy, or telling those goddamn East Coast liberals to shut the hell up. So yeah, I stand by what I said, your courageous cry for truth notwithstanding.

An anti-gun, pro-choice Republican . . .

Hey, haven't you heard? Rudy's pro-life!

And he's pro-gun since 9/11 changed everything.

Heck all you Democrats here should be contributing to Rudy’s campaign. If he gets the nod he may actually inspire the religious right to run their own candidate and split of a fair number of votes, maybe even 5-8%...


"Heck all you Democrats here should be contributing to Rudy’s campaign."

Not me. I do not want Rudy anywhere near the Oval Office, and getting the Republican nomination is far too close. I don't want to take any chances of the Democratic nominee self-destructing, abetted by the SCLM, and letting him into power.

Huckabee and to a lesser extent McCain seem to have the makings of an above average President, even if I wouldn't agree with their policy directions. Romney, and even Fred Thompson, strike me as "we've had worse". Guiliani, on the other hand, strikes me as a leader who would enthusiastically destroy our system of government if he felt it necessary.

Besides, OCSteve, I don't want to win because a fundamentalist third-party candidate splits the vote (though I'll take what I can get). I want the Democrat to get a significant majority, to show a thorough repudiation of today's Republican Party. That would have a chance of shaking things up enough to get us on the right path (and maybe encourage the sane Republicans to retake the party or leave). So if there is a third-party candidate, I hope the Democrat is able to beat the Republican and Constitution Party (or whatever) votes combined.

I'm not holding my breath, though, since I figure the media will have beaten up the Democrat with enough ridiculous stories about hairstyle, clothing choices, laughing, sighs, and whatever the officially recognized character flaw is (arrogance, scheming, inexperience, "flip-flopping", etc.) that the election will once again be a close one. That, and there are a disturbing number of neo-Naderists saying there's no difference between the parties. I'm hoping they'll come to their senses before November 2008.

"an anti-gun, pro-choice Republican"

"Hey, haven't you heard? Rudy's pro-life!

"And he's pro-gun since 9/11 changed everything."

Well, his positions are more nuanced than that!

He believes fetuses should be armed after the first trimester, unless they demand government-supplied healthcare for their mothers, in which case a Blackwater security person should be assigned to each fetus until they see the sense in prohibitively high deductibles.

Now, if a fetus tries to clean your windshield on the Manhatten side of the Holland Tunnel as a way of defraying the cost of the higher deductibles, then, and only then, may the fetus be considered a tax-paying adult, and he or she may be set upon by angry, burly cops for a spinal readjustment.

Transgendered fetuses will be cuffed and questioned but are eligible to attend post-Inauguration parties in the event that various big money evangelicals with secret lives require escorts.

These provisos will remain in force unless and until the small print in Mitt Romney's pandering platform becomes even smaller, at which time, Rudy's small print shall be further miniaturized so that even the few remaining intelligent voters plead blindness.

"Profanity violates the posting rules. (Think of our readers who work behind filters, and want to read us.)"

I've said this a few times, of late, but I don't think when you've been around, Hilzoy.

For whatever little it's worth, I've come to the extremely firm opinion -- but it's just an opinion, of course, and obviously I offer it as nothing more -- that it's absolutely pointless to continue to try to enforce the no-profanity posting rule until, at least, some new attempts are made to highlight it.

What's clear to me is that a tiny link in the upper right of the blog, that quietly says "posting rules," buried admidst a vast number of other links on two sidebars -- even though this one is near the top -- simply will never be noticed by most people.

It never has been, and it never will.

Acting as if it will, in the face of clear evidence over four years, is nuts. It. Doesn't. Work.

I don't know if an attempt to make the rule more permanently prominent would work, but it seems clear to me that it's the only possibility.

Simply informing people of the rule, time after time, alone, obviously doesn't work. It just wastes your time, and the offender's. And the blog is so filled with profanity, any filter will have long since shut ObWi out. So the current effort is the definition of insanity: endlessly repeating a pointless action that doesn't work.

My suggestions for actually attempting to get the rule out there: put it in a smaller -- or larger -- font at the bottom of every post.

If someone here were capable of modifying the words presented before one hits "post," I'd recommend that, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Other suggestions for prominent, and constant, displays of the rule/warning?

But simply going on with the current non-working policy seems pointless.

Am I all wrong about this?

if the Rule is there so that people can read ObWi at work without fear of filter, why not just add a server-side filter to disemvowel, or redact, or otherwise mangle offending words when the comment is entered ?

if the Rule is there to encourage civil discussion, obviously there's no automated way to manage that.

"Oh, please let the Republicans nominate him."

You didn't live under his reign for two full terms, watching him go through three elections, and win one, and then ever after four years of him, win another. (And then see him struggle to break the term limits law, since if Rudy weren't kept on as Mayor-For-Life, the city would have collapsed, which is, of course, what happened. Oh wait.)

And ditto all the people who explained to me how great it was that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were going to be the Republican nominees, because there's no way such people could win.

Gary, it's likely there's enough profanity to trip filters, but I'm not sure that's the only consideration. The rule is certainly working to the extent that there's not much profanity in the discussions, and that affects the tone here. If the rule didn't exist, or there weren't the reminders when someone (usually a newcomer) violates it, then I think there's be a lot more profanity. So I disagree that it's pointless.

"Gary, it's likely there's enough profanity to trip filters, but I'm not sure that's the only consideration."

So all those hundreds of explanations from blog-owners, and which I myself gave, in support of them, more than a hundred times, that specifically it was only the matter of filtering that anyone cared about, were false?

What you say may be true, but it makes a liar out of Hilzoy, Moe, me, and all the people who have asserted precisely that -- that we don't care about your language ourselves, but objective office filters do, and that's the only reason you're asked not to use profanity there.

I'd really not be happy to find out that I've been selling a lie.

The issue isn't whether the no-profanity rule might have other benefits; I agree that it's likely. But that's not an argument that can be made as regards having this rule on this blog. Not in the face of the history.

Not, at least, unless it's announced as a new policy, with a new rationale.

If the current rule is worth enforcing, then it's worth putting either a link to the posting rules, or a consise statement of the no-profanity rule, where it can be seen.

Prominently seen.

Doing otherwise doesn't work. (I say this as someone who has given these warnings over a hundred times, seeing it as identical to the normal community support all good members of the community give a newsgroup on Usenet, but who finally recently stopped, since few, if any, other non-blog-owners made an investment in such an effort, and, as I've said, it's became clear it's completely futile unless changes are made.)

Most clearly, that would be posting a warning with every post, such as explicitly at the bottom (or top or middle, or whatever, so long as it's prominent).

If it's not important enough to do this, then why pretend otherwise? And why leave the (almost) entire burden to Hilzoy? That's completely unfair.

(And as a minor note, Publius has casually engaged in profanity numerous times, which seems to make chastising others for doing so completely hypocritical.)

Back on topic, in the department of heh:

SALEM, N.H. — For breakfast this morning, Rudolph W. Giuliani got a heaping double helping of questions about his troubles with Christian conservatives.

Awaiting Mr. Giuliani and his wife, Judith, at the venerable Red Arrow Diner in Manchester were dozens of national and local reporters — the largest press contingent yet to accompany him on the trail—along with a man in a Giuliani mask, holding a Little Tikes cell phone and a sign reading, “Hold on … My Wife is On the Phone.”

I have to give Giuliani credit: the man has learned to be a very canny politician, when he wants to be, and has himself under control, and this is why I take the threat of his being elected -- having lived through that absurdity 2 out of 3 times, so far -- as a deadly serious one.

Here's an example:

[...] But then the deluge came: five questions in a row either directly or indirectly related to the threat over the weekend from powerful Christian conservatives to bolt the Republican Party if Mr. Giuliani is the nominee.

Was he worried about the threat?

“I don’t worry a lot,” he said. “I learned a long time ago, there are things to worry about. Political pluses and minues are not one of the things to worry about. I worry more about how much money the Democrats are going to cost of us it they are elected, what it will do to our economy, how it will slow it, how it will add a lid on it.”

Now, this is, of course, complete bs. Of course he spends endless time on what is and isn't a political plus or minus, and how his minuses can be turned into pluses, and those of his opponents vice versa -- but this is a superb political answer. It's a classic bit of jujitsu, in turning aside a frontal attack, and flipping it into a an opportunity to attack the Democrats. It sounds good, to anyone already disposed to vote for Giuliani.

The man is dangerous.

Gary, FWIW, when I try to log onto ObWi at work, it is blocked and one of the reasons given is obscenity. This of course made me laugh as it allows me to get Andrew Sullivan's site which has far more profanity than this one.

"Gary, FWIW, when I try to log onto ObWi at work, it is blocked and one of the reasons given is obscenity."

Thus my point that the current system doesn't work.

Does it matter if it's intentional, or if he just has some kind of weird relationship with his wife?

Rudy's the guy who interrupts a speech he's giving to a roomful of people -- important people, people who might make or break his campaign -- to take a personal call. Whether he's trying to make an intentional point, or whether he's just bizarrely afraid of his wife, the message to the folks in attendance is "I'm sorry, you have to wait, I have something more important to do".

Long story short -- Giuliani is a jerk. Maybe he'll be our next President, maybe not. But he's a jerk.

There are, no doubt, many folks who think a gold-plated jerk -- someone who'll "kick ass and take names" -- is exactly what we need.

If that's you, Rudy's your man.

Thanks -

Gary, FWIW, when I try to log onto ObWi at work, it is blocked and one of the reasons given is obscenity. This of course made me laugh as it allows me to get Andrew Sullivan's site which has far more profanity than this one.

Could less to do with the (relatively speaking, very mild) profanity that one encounters @ ObWi, and more to do with recent subject matter and resulting comments (eg, toe-tapping, trans/gender issues, etc).

Aren't most 'obscenity' filters set to weed out pr0n (with a very broad definition of what constitutes 'pr0n') rather than mere profanity?

Hmm, this is getting meta...


"Could less to do with" s/b "Could have less to do with".

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