By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders
“Men at some time are masters of their fates; the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.” The precipitous fall of Rudolph Giuliani is like something from a Shakespearean drama.
For a moment not so long ago, Rudy Giuliani was viewed as “America’s Mayor.” That title was given in the days and weeks following the attack against the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. During that horrible time, Giuliani used his considerable skills to rally a city wracked with grief and anger. His resolute leadership inspired the nation. It was a defining moment for Rudy. It was short-lived.
It is worth remembering that before the attack, Mayor Giuliani had fallen out of favor with most New Yorkers who had tired of his combative and snarling personality. He could not run for re-election because of term limits but if he could have, the odds were that he would have lost.
So off he went to the world of lobbying, forming his own firm working closely with his business associate the former NYC Police Commissioner Bernie Kerick until Kerick was convicted of corruption and sent to prison. That was an omen of things to come.
Giuliani and Partners were making a small fortune as international security consultants and cashing in on his experiences with terrorism.
Emboldened by his business success and his political fame, Rudy Giuliani set his sights on running for President in 2008. Do you remember that? If not, it is understandable. His campaign lasted only a few months before it dissolved. Rudy’s brand of in-your-face politics was not a good fit outside of the city.
Thus into political oblivion went the ambitious former mayor. That is, until 2016 when Rudy Giuliani latched on to the presidential campaign of fellow New Yorker, Donald Trump. Giuliani had hopes of a cabinet position in the Trump Administration but instead became an unofficial adviser to the president, a perch from which he could wield influence and maintain his seven-figure annual income from lobbying.
He relished his high profile role as Trump’s surrogate during the Mueller investigation. Behind the scenes, he was doing much more.
Rudy Giuliani who rose to political stardom as a tough prosecutor was now tasked with the unsavory job of getting dirt on Trump’s main political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. He jumped in with both feet. It turns out that he landed in a mess. His foreign contacts and clients now face federal indictments stemming from those illegal activities intended to help Trump get re-elected.
In his zeal to ingratiate himself with President Trump, Rudy involved foreign government operatives at Trump’s behest in an effort to discredit a political opponent. That is a major no-no. In fact, it is a crime which Rudy, the former U.S. Attorney, surely would have condemned if done by anyone else.
Giuliani now faces great legal peril having willfully aided and abetted abuse of presidential power and violations of law. The former prosecutor of corruption may now find himself on the receiving end. Such tragic irony.
The once iconic Mayor of America’s greatest city has devolved into a Trump henchman and apologist. Can Rudy survive this scandal? Can he restore his tarnished reputation? In the words of Shakespeare “To be or not to be, that is the question!”