Well, you had to figure that any halfway intelligent candidate wouldn't let something like this float out there without trying to correct the negative image. And, indeed, it wasn't long before the Giuliani campaign put forward an explanation. A laughable one, but still an explanation.
And, really, they need a better one. Because this is the kind of thing that brings down a candidate. This is Romney (No, not that one. The elder.) saying he'd been brainwashed in '68. Not because it's a particularly bad gaffe but because it carves a great big gaping hole in the carefully constructed narrative about this particular candidate. Namely, that he's the 9/11 candidate, America's mayor, and his steely gaze alone is going to ward off those nasty terrorists. He's Rudy. He's going to be in charge. But if he's so concerned about this war on terror, if it's so important, so pressing, then why was he skipping out of meetings. And for what? To glad hand and make a few remarks at this event or that one? That really takes so much time out of his schedule that he can't at least get in on a conference call or something? Ah, but at those speeches he was lining his pockets with money. There you go. That's the kind of story, the kind of fact, that penetrates. Not just the political weather watchers, like myself, but to the dinner table conversations of, so-called, middle America. It's the kind of thing people talk about at each, go “You hear about what that Giuliani done?”. The kind of grist that's milled by a hundred drive time radio shows. Fodder for late night jokes and sneering newspaper sidebars. It's the kind of thing that gets out there and ruins that image if a campaign isn't careful.
I mean, the media must be going nuts with this one right? These are the same opinion makers who rushed to press with stories about Edwards and his haircut, right? The ones who told us Al Gore invented the internet? They must be shouting this from the mountaintops because Rudy's wounded and these people can smell blood. Right?
Ah, yeah. That steely eyed gaze. That manly musk. That conservative philosophy. No, the reporters won't pick up on this unless it's jammed down their throats. But that's okay because I happen to remember another little blunder that no one picked up on first. One that took the blogs pushing relentlessly to bring to the fore. One word: “macaca”.
Shout it from the mountaintops. See to shining sea. Loud enough, often enough, and they can't ignore us all. Right?
To understand just how important this is, check out Mr. Marshall at TPM, laying the smack down. Actually, just check out TPM, they're probably not going to let this go any time soon. And they'll do a much better job of it than I, for sure. But this is meat that needs to be on the dinner plate of every American. This is the thin soup that needs to be passed around the family meal. Because it boils down to this:
Rudy Giuliani put his bank account ahead of the security of the United States. Is that really the kind of person you want to be your President?