In an earlier post, I suggested that Michael Gerson may have been the biggest phony ever to walk the halls of the White House. (See the September issue of The Atlantic and today's Washington Post.) Of course, this was meant as hyperbole. Considering the massive number of phonies who have worked on the White House staff, Gerson probably isn't even in the Top 10.
(In the days when I worked there late in the Reagan presidency, it would have been a lot easier to count the non-phonies than all the phonies. One anecdote: I knew people no higher in the pecking order than I was in the mid-level who would never leave their offices until they knew that the president had left the Oval Office for the night, just in case he needed them. The fact that he had never once summoned them, nor the extreme unlikelihood that he ever would, nor their easy availability by phone through the impressive White House switchboard, had any effect on their actions. It was really all about letting others, especially their subordinates, think they were more important than they really were. In actuality, among the hundreds of White House staffers, probably fewer than a dozen were genuinely important enough to worry about such things.)
Anyway, the point of this post of that if Rudy Giuliani becomes the next president, he may become the biggest phony. According to an article in the Village Voice that has been totally ignored by conservative bloggers, his one claim to fame of being The Man on 9/11 is totally without foundation. For example, he stupidly insisted that New York City's crisis center be located in the World Trade Center, which had already been attacked once, rather than some safer location in Brooklyn. Apparently, he wanted someplace convenient to hook up with his then girlfriend (now wife). Consequently, the center was worthless at the exact point it was most needed.
There's lots of other stuff in the article as well. Even if some of it is overstated, it still confirms my growing feeling that Giuliani is the worst of a bad bunch running for the Republican presidential nomination. It's like he has all of George W. Bush's bad qualities except that he is smart. This is a bad combination, in my opinion. The last thing we want is a president who competently implements disastrous policies; that will just make them even more disastrous.
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