Archive for January, 2008

Giuliani Quits Race

January 31, 2008

Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani withdrew from the presidential race after his third place finish in the Florida primary, an election which he staked his political fortunes on.  After announcing that he was quitting he endorsed John McCain. 


“John McCain is the most qualified candidate to be commander-in-chief of the United States.  He is an American hero,” Giuliani said while standing next to McCain at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. 


Giuliani was the only Republican candidate besides McCain who cited his national security credentials as his main qualification for the presidency.  His exit leaves McCain without any significant rivals in the run for the Republican nomination when it comes to that issue.


I am relieved that Giuliani was forced to give up his bid for the Oval Office.  There was no legitimate basis for the claims that he was a hero after 9/11, and no reason to consider him strong on national security issues.  It is not as if he prevented the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center or rescued anybody in the aftermath.  In fact, he hindered the rescue efforts when he decided to locate the Office of Emergency Management in one of the World Trade Center buildings despite objections from New York City’s Director of Emergency Management; as a result of Giuliani’s decision, the office was unable to coordinate police and firefighter attempts to save people because its personnel were being evacuated while the rescue efforts were underway.  The only reason Giuliani was ever considered heroic is that New Yorkers, like other Americans, were desperate for heroes in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and he just happened to be mayor at the time.  The only thing Giuliani deserves any credit for is that he did not curl up in a ball and cry on national television after the towers collapsed.  The real heroes of 9/11 are the New York City police officers and firefighters who risked their lives to try to rescue victims at Ground Zero. 


And if Giuliani is so concerned about national security issues he should have participated in the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel created by Congress to assess the Iraq War, when he was a member of it in 2006.  He did not attend a single meeting of the group, and he resigned two months after it was set up, citing “previous time commitments.”  He has no credibility on the Iraq issue anyway given that he still endorsed President Bush’s management of the war years after it became clear that he mishandled it.


Despite the fact that there is no reason to consider Giuliani a national security or foreign policy expert, McCain said Giuliani will be his “strong right arm” in the fight against Islamic terrorism.  McCain’s comment could be construed to mean that he will select Giuliani to be his running mate if he wins the Republican nomination.  I hope that McCain was just being polite because Giuliani endorsed him.