The Strange Political World Of Rudy Giuliani

He couldnt be serious, but he was. With only a few days to go before the rescheduled primary on Sept. 25, Mayor Rudy Giuliani was out there trying to get himself re-elected Mayor despite the legal obstacle of term limits.
While the Mayor demurred politely, the Mayors political people were phoning members of the press to suggest that they support the idea of a write-in vote for the Mayor. They wanted the Mayor to win both the Democratic and the Republican primary campaign.
How could Giuliani imagine that he could win? For one thing, his magnificent presence during the World Trade Center tragedies made him popular beyond his wildest imagination. It was because of this wave of popularity that he imagined that he could ride this wave of patriotism and adulation into another term in Gracie Mansion, despite the fact that the electoral process had advanced far beyond the possibility of reversal, despite the fact that even if it could be reversed, Giuliani could not legally benefit from it. The Mayor is legally barred from serving a third term and, according to the latest Marist poll, two-thirds of all New Yorkers dont want to change the term limits law.
To say the least, this chaotic last minute attempt to rewrite history was comical. The Mayor had no chance to win a write-in campaign for the simple reason that the system doesnt encourage write-in votes. To vote for a write-in candidate, the average voter would need the help of poll workers, would have to press a special button, use a pencil to mark in the name of the write-in choice, and then would have to go on with voting in the regular way on the voting machine. Suffice to say, it is difficult.
More than that, most machines arent equipped with enough paper on the write-in rolls to accommodate more than a few write-in votes. If more than about 50 voters try to write in a candidates name, the machine runs out of paper, and the system just breaks down. You dont see people winning a write-in campaign for just this reason.
This strange episode of unintelligible egomania casts a pall on the otherwise sterling behavior of the Mayor in this crisis. He has gone from triumph to triumph as the savior of a city in ruin, of a nation in the deepest trauma. But how could he imagine that his newfound popularity would allow him to simply cast off the legal process to permit him to govern again? It is yet another example of this flawed but brilliant man, calm and masterful in crisis yet unable to accept the limiting dictates of the electoral system he helped put in place. That Giuliani could seriously think of setting aside the City Charter to push his own personal political agenda in this crisis is sad beyond words. He could have been a great man, and he was in this unspeakable crisis. But then, but then, but then…

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