Though I’ve never ignored his rough edges, I’ve always been a pretty big fan of Rudy Giuliani. Or at least anything but a consistent critic. Obviously his actions in recent weeks have just crystallized his strengths and what I think you have to call his claim to greatness.
That’s why it really pains me to see what’s happening now. Like many greats, Giuliani’s virtues aren’t just equalled by his shortcomings, they’re difficult to distinguish one from another. If I had a magic wand I’d certainly like to see Giuliani remain as Mayor. But what’s going to happen here is that he’s going to try to hold on, more than likely fail, and then taint all the well-deserved praise.
Perhaps he’ll even give a hint that his heroism during this crisis had a political tinge, when I think it’s rather certain that it had none.
Even if he pulls it off, it won’t look good. It’ll looking grasping because it won’t be by acclamation. It’ll be political. Something hashed out in the normal runamok of politics.
The news today is that he’s come up with a secret plan to extend his term three months — which two of the three candidates have accepted. But extending a term isn’t a private deal that can be worked out between contenders and the incumbent. It’s a public matter, a matter of law.
He should have left well enough alone. But he couldn’t.