WASHINGTON – Rudy Giuliani has become a rocket that keeps on sputtering – now on a worldwide trajectory. In Israel last week, the former mayor of New York questioned the morals of Stormy Daniels, President Trump’s putative porn star girlfriend of 2006.
Back home in New York, Giuliani claimed to know the heart and mind of the president’s wife, the reclusive Melania Trump. Giuliani told an interviewer that the first lady believes the president’s claim that he did not have an affair with Daniels. Melania Trump’s spokeswoman promptly shot back that Giuliani knows nothing about what Melania Trump believes about the alleged affair, or anything else that is in Melania Trump’s mind.
Giuliani brushed off the sustained booing he received from a Yankee Stadium crowd when his presence was announced on his 74th birthday on May 29. “They boo people they like,” he said.
Harder to ignore, for some, are the results of last week’s Quinnipiac poll. Respondents disapprove of Giuliani 29 to 44 percent, with the rest undecided. That’s lower than Trump’s approval rating of 40 percent. More remarkable is the collapse of Giuliani’s own popularity. Giuliani had an approval rating of 57 percent in February 2017.
That period coincides with Giuliani’s ever-increasing association with Trump, in which he not only verbalizes what the president thinks, but what he thinks the president thinks, and what he thinks Melania Trump thinks.
One suspects Giuliani may still be living in the media bubble, the deserved adulation he won by his outstanding performance in the wake of the extremist Islamist attack on Manhattan’s Twin Towers in 2001.
With President George W. Bush largely out of sight for most of the day, then-Mayor Giuliani worked tirelessly to rally the devastated community, and helped to lead recovery work by the city’s heroic police and fire departments and other first responders.
As the top federal prosecutor for the New York area, Giuliani took on the most fearsome Mafia figures in America, jailing many of them.
Sixteen years ago, it changed Giuliani into a kind of demigod.
Time magazine in 2001 called Giuliani “Mayor of the World.” Queen Elizabeth II conferred on Giuliani an honorary knighthood. The president of France at the time, Jacques Chirac, called him “Rudy, the Rock.”
Lately, though, Giuliani has come to represent a version of Gen. George S. Patton, who in the movie “Patton” was told by a superior: “Remember, George, your worst enemy is your own big mouth.”
So, in Israel last week, Giuliani told a whopper: that Special Counsel Robert Mueller “is trying very, very hard to frame” Trump. He also repeated Trump’s claim that he had the absolute power to pardon himself of any federal crime, though he would not because he has “not done anything wrong.”
“Honest to God,” Giuliani said, “it was a mistake.” He was referring to the months of White House denials that Trump dictated a statement attributed to Donald Trump Jr. about a session in Trump Tower with Russian operatives. That the denials were lies was proved when a memorandum about the meeting written last January was released.
The thousands who thronged downtown Washington for Stanley Cup rallies were unthinkable just a few years ago. In April 1968, neighborhoods just north were ravaged in riots following the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. They were a long time coming back. But with “gentrification” came the loss of neighborhoods valued by poor blacks and Hispanics.