This Politico story is getting a lot of attention:
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has taken control of the opioids agenda, quietly freezing out drug policy professionals and relying instead on political staff to address a lethal crisis claiming about 175 lives a day....
Trump is expected to propose massive cuts this month to the “drug czar” office, just as he attempted in last year’s budget before backing off. He hasn’t named a permanent director for the office, and the chief of staff was sacked in December....
Conway touts her opioids effort as policy-driven, telling POLITICO recently that her circle of advisers help “formalize and centralize strategy, coordinate policy, scheduling and public awareness” across government agencies.
That’s exactly what the drug czar has traditionally done.
Deep in the Politico story, we learn of one high-profile figure who's working with Conway:
Among the people working on the public education campaign that Trump promised is Andrew Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani’s 32-year-old son, who is a White House public liaison and has no background in drug policy, multiple administration sources told POLITICO.
Okay, maybe it's unfair to mock young Andrew for his antics at his father's first mayoral inaugural, when he was not quite eight years old.
But what has he done since then? A few years later, he developed an interest in golf, and he was on Duke University's golf team for a couple of years. But then he was removed from the team -- and in 2008 he sued:
Andrew Giuliani, a senior and former member of the men's golf team, is suing the University and his former head coach for allegedly illegally terminating his athletic eligibility....
The suit alleges that Giuliani, son of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, was wrongfully suspended from the golf team without warning. [Head coach O.D.] Vincent had cited several events that resulted in Giuliani's suspension, including breaking a club, "gunning" the engine of his car, throwing an apple at former teammate Brian Kim's face and being disrespectful to a trainer, according to the filing.
The suit was filed after Andrew's mother, Donna Hanover, "attempt[ed] to threaten and influence Duke University into placing Andrew Giuliani back onto the Duke University Men’s Golf Team,” according to a court filing. Andrew and his lawyers had claimed that there was “a bizarre Lord of the Flies scheme” to keep him off the team. A U.S. magistrate recommended dismissal of the lawsuit in 2009, and a federal judge dismissed it a year later.
Meanwhile, Andrew pursued a professional golf career and appeared on a golf reality show called Big Break. Almost immediately, a golf blog noted that he seemed to be "rubbing some of his competitors the wrong way (and we’re only 3 shows deep)." He wrote a very earnest essay for GolfChannel.com in which he quoted Theodore Roosevelt's "In the Arena" speech:
Before I went to bed, I went through the two holes in my mind one final time. Before I went to sleep, I read part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s speech to the Paris Sorbonne, which I believe is still one of the best statements ever made.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Time for us to turn this competition around, right now!
After that, the public record of Andrew Giuliani thins significantly. There's a record of one tour appearance in 2011, then, in 2014, Westchester magazine told us that Andrew "currently competes on the mini-tours." For the uninitiated, let me quote a Golf magazine article, which compares the mini-tours to the humblest levels of minor league baseball:
... mini-tours -- while unaffiliated with the PGA Tour -- are Single-A. Rookie ball. It's the lowest professional level in the sport. Mini-tours are about progression, not sustenance. The goal is escape -- ASAP.
Okay, fine -- Andrew gave pro golf a shot and didn't make it. No shame in that -- but in what way does this prepare him to be a key player in national drug policy?
Well, he has been affiliated with the White House since last March.
President Donald Trump has brought on Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to work in the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, two sources familiar with the hire told POLITICO.
And what were his duties?
In his new post, Andrew Giuliani ... helped organize the Patriots' upcoming visit to the White House after their come-from-behind Super Bowl victory, and also assisted First Lady Melania Trump’s staff during Trump’s speech before a joint session of Congress last week.
Remember, Trump only hires the best people.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog