We’ve made no secret over our sadness watching the Giuliani campaign. As long time readers know, in an earlier incarnation the Stiftung worked directly for him. Our interaction with the man confirmed his basic social tolerance and inherent decency. One way to measure a public persona is how they treat the most junior members of society or staff when no one is watching, there are no cameras and no possibility of public benefit. His bout with cancer and attending the funerals of 9/11 we are confident only enhanced this trait.
We also credit him (and Ed Rendell in Philadephia) for largely turning those metropolitan areas around. Both proved again that large cities are governable. Contemporary thinking wrote them off. Did he make mistakes? Undoubtedly. Is Bloomberg even better? He’s building on a stable legacy — who’s to say what and how he would have done if he inherited a Dinkins handoff.
Re 2008, tactical political reasons — as you know — forced Giuliani’s lurch to the extreme Right on foreign policy. The political logic is inescapable. It also all but extinguishes prospect of supporting him personally. (We have not approached the campaign in any way and have no contact with them).
You, Dear Reader, already know that he’s surrounded himself with the likes of Wedgewood, Frum, Rubin, Norman Podhoretz, Stephen Rosen and Martin Kramer. The campaign also signed up Hoover Institute’s Peter Berkowitz,who also runs the George Mason University Law School’s Israel Program on Constitutional Government.
Now Team Rudy recognizes they’ve over done it. Via Eli Lake at The Sun comes a disingenuous and stunningly cynical article. Team Rudy now claims that everyone should ignore the Neocons and Straussians behind the curtain. Instead, they hope to offer us the refurbished and allegedly centrist Charles Hill. Like the New Nixon, Hill purports to be a moderate and cashes in on his brief association with George Schultz. Hill, oddly and perversely, even brags as a token of diversity that the campaign has hired “Robert Conquest, who has worked as both an adviser to Margaret Thatcher and a mentor of Christopher Hitchens”.
The message? Team Rudy and The Sun tell us, don’t you know, Rudy doesn’t necessarily believe in what his hired advisors tell him. Or even the Neoconish things he says himself. It remains instructive, however, that Lake offers this consolation to the Neocons in his ‘small service’ to Team Rudy:
Mr. Hill’s worldview aligns, however, with today’s hawks in that he sees militant Islam as the primary threat to the international order. “Most of what he has written is based on this idea that he touts out again and again, since 1648 the world has functioned according to the international state system, that system is breaking down and that is the nature strategically speaking of this new threat of Islamofascism,” Ms. Worthen [a Hill biographer] said.
Ms. Worthen also said that Mr. Hill’s time in the Foreign Service and serving in Tel Aviv resulted in his admiration for Jewish nationalism, an admiration not universally shared by American diplomats who have served in the Jewish state.
“He was very informed by his experience in Israel and his deep, deep sympathy for the Israelis, not based on their political situation, but a very existential empathy for their national philosophy and their culture, which he perceives as honest and manly, really for standing for something that is good and true about the human race,” she said.
True, campaigns since time immemorial trot out advisory committees as mere décolletage. It’s a long and honored history. In Rudy’s case it’s doubly damning. If he doesn’t believe this stuff yet campaigns on it, his White House tenure — should he win — will be marked by savage retributive ideological insurgency and ineffectiveness. The Neocons have largely infected the overall Movement and the Republican Party host with their viral ideology. Should he actually embrace it, we should all worry for the Republic and the world.