What’s with Rudy Giuliani?
At 75, he’s basking in his attack-dog role as President Donald Trump’s attorney, taking center stage in Trump’s “… do us a favor though" phone call to the Ukrainian president to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and son Hunter.
Turns out Rudy did some pressuring himself when he met with aides to the Ukranian president to lay out cases the country should pursue.
This is the same Rudy who served for eight years as NYC’s mayor. Self-righteous and self-centered, scornful of differing opinions, never backing down from a scrape or an argument. At the same time, he was responsible for the city’s — and the NYPD’s — turnabout after decades of rampant crime.
Then came 9/11. In those first days, Rudy seemed to single-handedly hold the city together. His self-righteousness and self-centeredness, his unwillingness or inability to accept differing views appeared to be strengths. Rudy was Time magazine’s 2001 person of the year.
That was the high point. In 2008, Rudy was the Republicans’ early favorite to succeed President George W. Bush. Instead, he ended up with one delegate. In 2016, he threw in with Donald Trump.
The two have plenty in common. Both had oppressive fathers and scant regard for women. Rudy’s dad, Harold, was a leg-breaker for the mob who had served time in Sing-Sing for armed robbery.
Like Trump, Rudy has married three times. His first marriage, to second cousin Regina Perrugi, was annulled. His second marriage to journalist-actor Donna Hanover disintegrated while he was mayor, in part because he was having an affair with his press secretary. He announced on TV that he was divorcing Hanover before informing her. His third wife, Judy Nathan, is divorcing him.
With Trump’s election in 2016, Rudy lobbied to become secretary of state. There was talk of his becoming attorney general. Instead, he ended up as Trump’s Roy Cohn, his attack-dog personal attorney.
He’s now got the scent of the Bidens: specifically how Hunter, with no experience, got a $50,000-a-month consultancy to a Ukrainian firm while his father, then U.S. vice president, was the point person on the U.S. Ukrainian portfolio. That issue could resonate with Americans as much as Trump’s phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, if not more.
Democrats may well vote to impeach Trump. But before Rudy’s through with Hunter, Joe Biden may become collateral damage, unable to hold his polling lead for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.