Sunday, March 04, 2007

But What About The Children?

Kate O'Beirne, editor of that bastion of liberalism The National Review, said this about Rudy Giuliani recently:

I understand the appeal of his demonstrable executive abilities and his law-and-order record. I can see how some conclude that he is the right tough guy for the times. But a great guy? Or a man of character? Our mothers would have accurately nailed him - he's a cad. Many voters might be willing to overlook how he has treated the women in his life and Judi can smother him in Valentine kisses. I still doubt that they will get him, but I know that she can have him.

O'Beirne was talking about just how screwed up Rudy's personal life has been and how he treats his ex-wives like they're his political enemies. Here's a taste of that mess from the New York Daily News (working off the interview Rudy's son Andrew gave the New York Times yesterday in which junior Giuliani told the paper he was "estranged" from his father because of Rudy's third wife, Judi):

Rudy Giuliani's shaky family life is being hit with new tremors, as his son Andrew hit the interview circuit confirming that he is estranged from his father - and that the root of the tension is Giuliani's current wife, Judith.


Coming at the outset of an increasingly combative presidential race, Andrew Giuliani's comments are sure to refocus the spotlight on the ex-mayor's already messy family history.

The thrice-married Giuliani divorced his first wife, Regina Peruggi, after 14 years. Later, infamously, he chose a live TV interview to tell Andrew's mother, TV personality Donna Hanover, that he was divorcing her.

Insiders said yesterday that Giuliani's children - Andrew's sister Caroline is 18 and headed to Harvard University this fall - have long had differences with their father's third wife, Judith, whom Giuliani married in 2002 after publicly flaunting their relationship for months, even while married to Hanover.

Those with knowledge of the situation said the children don't like to be around her and that Giuliani, rather than spend time separately with his kids, has chosen to stick by his new wife's side.

As a result, the former mayor rarely spends time with his children and has missed major events in their lives, including many of Andrew's major golf tournaments and more recent school theatrical productions in which Caroline has starred, sources said.

Indeed, one person said Giuliani learned of his daughter's Harvard admission by reading about it in The News.

The candidate's aides declined to respond yesterday to Andrew Giuliani's latest comments, other than to indicate that he loves his son very much. Calls to Hanover were not immediately returned.

The estrangement helps to explain why Giuliani's children have played no role so far in their father's budding run for the White House. While other candidates - most notably former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney - proudly show off their kids on the campaign trail, Giuliani's have been nowhere to be seen - not even on the ex-mayor's campaign Web site.

Judith Giuliani, however, is prominently featured on the Web site and is a regular presence on the campaign trail, where she rarely leaves the ex-mayor's side.

Let's not forget the infidelities, the court order Rudy got so he could bring his mistress home to Gracie Mansion for some shctupping while Donna and the kids were up the hall, the special dispensation Rudy sought from the Pope to marry his first wife (she was his second cousin) and the second special dispensation Rudy sought from the Pope to annul the marriage to his first wife (omigod, he had just realized she was his second cousin!!!).

Rudy is a sleazeball. He makes Bill Clinton look like Mr. Rogers. He puts his own personal happiness above the welfare of his children, he treats his ex-wives like dirt (can you imagine telling your second wife you're divorcing her during a live TV interview?), he publicly flaunted his adultery, and he acts like an imperious asshole.

None of this takes away from his actions on 9/11 (although his idiotic idea to place the NYC Emergency Command Center in WTC 7 before the attacks and his lying to the public about the safety of the air after the attacks do undercut his "hero" status.) But they do speak to who the man is. If the wingers were so upset about Bill Clinton's moral weaknesses (and I know many of them were - or at least said they were), they ought to be just as disturbed by Rudolph Giuliani's behavior and shenanigans.

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