Reihan: Priceless Giuliani Moments

There are too many to count in Michael Powell's piece on the Giuliani's radio days, but here's one:

Gravel-voiced Joe from Dutchess County asked in 1999 why the mayor did not attack President Clinton at a fund-raising dinner. When the program returned after a commercial break it sounded as if Joe still was on the line. It was the mayor, imitating Joe’s dese-dem-dere voice.

“This is, uh, Joe from, ahhh, Dutchess County. I unnerstan’ youse went too easy the other night because people applauded or they didn’t applaud for ya or sumthin’—I don’t remember.” Mr. Giuliani giggled. Then he speculated that maybe Joe was a long-term resident of a state prison.

I don't know quite what to think of Giuliani these days, but I do know I admired him back then. So much so that I was at one point pretty enthusiastic about a Giuliani presidential run. This, of course, begs the question: what about Giuliani's alleged racial insensitivity, a subject that comes up in the article? To my mind, Giuliani would have profited from access to a wider circle of advisors and experts. I mean, I think that is generally true about all of us. But I also think it is better to speak frankly to anyone irrespective of their background. Abusive harangues are bad, but it's important to remember that Giuliani was an equal opportunity offender in this regard. He reduced plenty of white men to tears. I'd rather deal with someone profoundly unpleasant than someone who condescends