It's funny how narratives can cloud our memories of public figures. Rudy Giuliani grabbed hard onto the mantle of "America's Mayor" in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy. It wasn't even particularly apt then. People forget that Giuliani was in the middle of a personal scandal that was damaging his re-election chances, having informed his then-wife Donna Hanover on television that they were separating because he was involved with another woman. After the attack on 9/11, Giuliani "volunteered" to stay on as mayor indefinitely. And then there was his promotion of his buddy Bernard Kerik to be the first Secretary of Homeland Security, despite Kerik's convictions on corruption charges.
And now, as the trusty "personal" attorney/fixer for Donald Trump, Giuliani's grasp on reality seems tenuous at best and there hasn't been an appearance recently where he hasn't denied and then turned around and admitted to a crime within a couple of sentences. It's easy to wonder what the hell has happened to Rudy.
But as Rev. Al Sharpton reminds us, Rudy Giuliani has ALWAYS been this way: corrupt, not above playing dirty politics, dabbling in racism.
That makes him a perfect fit for the Trump administration:
Trump and Giuliani share many traits. They're both funhouse-mirror versions of tough guys. They both equate law-and-order with bully-and-berate. They're both philanderers. (As mayor, Giuliani publicly announced he was separating from his wife, without her knowledge, then married the woman he was having an affair with, whom he is now divorcing.)
But the trait Trump and Giuliani really have in common is consistency. We can count on Trump to tear up precedent, linguistics and all manner of societal, diplomatic and ethical norms. Giuliani can be counted on, too, to hog the spotlight, ignore the evidence and bend the law. "He is the same guy ... who did all that aggressive stuff as mayor," Giuliani's friend and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said last year, when Giuliani signed on as Trump's new fixer. "Now that he is the leader of the Trump legal team, he's all in for the President."
The context may change, but Giuliani stays the same. He's like the favorite character on a tired sitcom that network execs just can't bring themselves to cancel. How could they, when he's so much fun to watch?
Oh, I don't know...maybe because there's nothing fun about watching a man lose his mind and put the country in jeopardy?