Do New Yorkers like Mayor Giuliani?

And did they like him before the terrorist attacks? Don’t flame me, I’m sorry if this seems like a dumb question. I don’t usually pay attention to politics and all that. From what I’ve seen of him on the news recently, he seems like a pretty nice, with-it kinda guy, a “real” person instead of a politician. Am I wrong? What do the New York Dopers think?

Everybody I’ve spoken to, read, etc. has praised Giuliani for the way he’s acted since the WTC. Even the Village Voice, which hates Giuliani. If he could run for re-election now (elections are in November, and there are term limits), he’d win in a very very lopsided way.
People were split before the election. He’s very law-and-order, and has shown himself to be sometimes… less than concerned with certain niceties of personal liberties. Totally steriotyping, the more left wing the person, the less love for Rudy. Many minority groups also dislike him. He did win re-election in a landslide four years ago.
FWIW, I’ve always agreed with my father’s assessment that he’s not a nice guy, but he’s a good mayor.

He’s gone from being universally despised but respected (much like Mussolini, for much the same reasons) to beloved AND greatly respected. They’d give him the key to the city if he didn’t already have it in his pocket.

I suspect he’s going to be the (write-in) next mayor of New York, regardless of two referendums on term limits. How that translates into what happens next, I can’t begin to tell you but it should be an interesting time in New York as the various governing bodies sort it all out.

I’m curious, how many of you New Yorkers are voting for Rudy?

your humble TubaDiva

For a city mayor, he’s a hell of a good prosecutor.

I don’t much care for him overall but he went up several notches (maybe several dozen) on Sept 11. Something admirable to be remembered by here in NYC instead of associating his name with Amadou Diallo, Justin Volpe, cheating on Donna Hanover Giuliani, Rudy Crews, William Bratton, street vendors, etc.

Right now: Giuliani is a hero. There are any number of articles, columns, and letters to the editor being written. But just like the SDMB, nothing is ever 100%.

Before Sept. 11: This would require lots of input from many different New Yorkers. I liked Giuliani and he had a diverse following and a diverse opposition. In New York there is what I call “Mayor Koch” Syndrome. That is, no matter how popular a Mayor is, he becomes disliked after a certain number of years. * No Mayor of New York City has ever been elected to four terms, not even the beloved Mayor LaGuardia*. Of course, there is a two-term limit now anyway. The point is that NYC is just has too many competing interests for any one person to stick around for more than 12 years (LaGuardia & Koch). As popular as Koch was, the City wanted him to go. I loved Mayor Koch and even I thought it was time for him to go. But I digress. Giuliani helped turn the city’s image around from being a crime-laden hellhole to a place that felt safe. Not only did crime drop but the quality of life went up overall.

As to him being a real person, have you ever seen him on David Letterman? The Mayor loves comedy. He has cracked me up on several occaisions.

To add to what GilaB said: former Mayor Koch said that former Mayor David Dinkins was a nice man but a lousy administrator and that Giuliani was a great administrator but a lousy man. I don’t entirely agree as I was a summer intern for a city agency and Giuliani invited all of us (couple of hundred at least–all interns from all agencies) to a Barbeque at Gracie Mansion. I thought that he was a good man then, amd obviously many think that he is a good man now.

I respectfull disagree with the assessment that he was universally despised. I have heard the Mussolini comparision before, and it is not a view shared by all New Yorkers.

Did he support the policemen who murdered the guy going for his wallet, and the ones who sodomized the guy with a broom handle?

Universally despised? Not at all.

I had very mixed feelings about Giuliani. I loved the “quality of life” improvements he made in the city, but I disliked a lot of what he did to make those changes. I liked him as a personality, but I felt that he probably was not a really nice guy. Lots of people called him a “fascist,” but Mussolini did make the trains run on time. Catch my drift?

But deep in my heart of hearts, I adored the guy. I admired his guts and tenacity and his insistence on getting his way. He didn’t mind hurting feelings and stepping on toes. He was soooo politically incorrect, but he made so many positive changes in the city. On one hand, I do care about the displaced homeless people. On the other hand, I deserve to be able to walk through Penn Station unmolested. Why should the “right” of homeless people to pee on the floor supersede my “right” to a relatively sanitary train station? Plus, he had a great sense of humor, and I have to laugh with anybody that loves to laugh at themselves. (Ever see the “freakin’ Giuliani” sketch on SNL?)

Anyhow, the events of Sept. 11 created a situation uniquely suited to his strengths. The city needed a mayor that was going to jump in and take charge–damn the political torpedoes. And fortunately for all of us, that’s just the kind of mayor he is.

It’s times like this that remind us that sometimes we need leaders that can lead.

Nobody supported the dudes who sodomized the guy with a broom handle, though I am pretty sure he spoke to their having a fair trial.

As for my personal opinion, being a native New Yawkah, I have always liked the guy. He does a lot of stuff that I do not agree with, but he has always been a straight-up, no-bullshit kind of person, and I respect him for that. He rarely dodges questions, and has no qualms about telling the Media and, in some cases, the Feds, to f*ck off. Gotta admire the man for that.

He got rid of strip bars, not only in Times Square, but throughout Manhattan.
So there is a reasonable chunk of the population who don’t like him…

I love Rudy. And apparently, judging by the pundits, the street buzz and the brought-down-the-house applause he (and Pataki) received during the Bush speech, so does everyone else these days. If fact his remarkable universal appeal inspired me to write the following letter to the editor to the NY Times (… which they have yet to print [frowny]):

Roughrider Rudy

When I worked in and around City Hall I learned that Rudolph Giuliani has two role models whose pictures he hangs behind his office desk: Fiorello La Guardia and Theodore Roosevelt. If you study their philosophies you won’t be very surprised by many of Giuliani’s policies or his brash, take-charge style. And our mayor’s masterful handling of the World Trade Center disaster has made the similarities even more apparent. Pundits take note. Giuliani’s performance during the current crisis has bestowed him with a national reputation akin to the one that helped propel T.R. into the White House. The World Trade Center disaster may very well be Rudy Giuliani’s San Juan Hill.

Remember, you heard it here first folks.

And last, too.
Rudy’s rather nasty marital history is not going to endear him with the “Clinton was the devil” wing of the Republican party…

I think Green Bean hit it when she said the Mayor is a “personality.” I’ve always been of the opinion that being a personality is the most important characteristic of an NYC Mayor. I knew Giuliani was a winner (in the personality department) at his first inaugeration, when the antics of his kid misbehaving stole the show.

I know this sounds flippant, but it really sums up how I feel about the Mayor. I don’t agree with everything he has done. As a Catholic and an art historian, I watched with morbid fascination mixed with horror when he took on the Brooklyn Museum. At the same time, it was intriguing to see the media, city officials, and everyone else in New York caught up in a big discussion about modern art for a few weeks.

He’s not always good news, but he is always news. New Yorkers always know what Giuliani is up to. I remember when Dinkins was mayor, and weeks would go by with most of the city not really knowing what he was doing (I think “not much” would sum it up). Even when Giuliani riles people up, it seems to have the effect of getting more people informed and involved with city issues, always a good thing in my book.

Least favorite Giuliani moment – when he denied the right of cab drivers to assemble for a protest. I think there were probably some genuine reasons of logistics for the cab drivers not to protest in the proposed manner, but Giuliani didn’t pay lip service to that.

I am also very annoyed by the fence he installed around City Hall – he did this even though it was NYC tradition to have this area “open” – symbolic of City Hall’s belonging to the people of the city.

Most favorite Giuliani moment – when he strong armed UN diplomats into paying parking violation fines.

Of course, I should have said favorite “pre September 11” moment, because since then he’s been magnificent.

I once heard that no Mayor of NYC ever went on to hold a higher public office (anyone have an example showing otherwise?) – I wouldn’t be surprised if Giuliani was the first.

delphica asked if “… no Mayor of NYC ever went on to hold a higher public office…”

Akk! I hate that oft-repeated falsehood. Off the top o’ my head I can tell you that Dewitt Clinton and John T. Hoffman were NYC mayors who later served as NYS governors.

Going on to a higher national office is a trick that may be unprecedented.

NYC Mayor Sam Tilden came close when he “lost” to Rutherford B. Hayes in that disputed election we heard so much about during the last presidential election fiasco.

Akk. I take it back! Tilden was, of course, a NY GOVERNOR not NYC mayor. It’s late. Forgive me.

Ah, yes! I did hear that as “higher national office,” although this is starting to sound like one of those “not elected to higher national office in a year that ends with 4, or any leap years” sort of things.

And I am equally mortified that I didn’t pick up on this because of course I know about Clinton, although I have to confess I know hardly anything about Hoffman.

Thanks for the clarification! :slight_smile:

delphica, my sweet, let me be of some help. Presuming you don’t live there already, take the Staten Island ferry to our least populous borough. Wend your way to South Beach or Midland Beach or any other point that faces the Atlantic a little south of the Verrazano Bridge. You will see a small, distant undeveloped island covered with trees and other vegitation. It is called Hoffman Island. There. Now you know something about John T. Hoffman!

As for schplebordnik remark:

And last, too.
Rudy’s rather nasty marital history is not going to endear him with the “Clinton was the devil” wing of the Republican party…

Ah, the TR parallels abound. True, he had no messy personal issues, but before the SA War Roosevelt was a big-ass thorn in the side of the NYS Republican machine and especially its leader, Thomas Platt who found Teddy’s independent and progressive ways contemptable. But even Platt knew a winner when he saw one, and the Hero of San Juan Hill was one. Platt, who handpicked the Republican candidate for NYS Governor (and later, McKinley’s running mate), would rather have a Republican Governor who listened to him some of the time than Tammany Governor who listened to him none of the time.

I find Rudy Giuliani’s service as Mayor to have been highly mixed.

Giuliani started out as the New York federal prosecutor, with a strong reputation for anti-Mafia prosecutions. However, he also suffered some criticism for being more interested in publicity than in effective prosecutions.

Giuliani first ran for mayor against David Dinkins. Dinkins was elected as the first black mayor of New York with hopes that he could be effective at reducing racial conflicts in the City. Unfortunately, he proved ineffective both at managing the City and at improving racial tensions.

In the electoral rematch four years later, Giuliani defeated Dinkins at the polls. He came into office, after many years of entrenched Democratic City leadership, and moved swiftly to sweep away many inefficiencies in the City governments.

One major point of emphasis was on ridding the city of minor ‘quality of life’ crimes and implementing community policing. However, as much credit as he gets for his police leadership, he largely inherited the benefits of police programs started under the Dinkins adminstration which took some time to bear fruit.

In his administration he insisted on strong, central control of all information coming from City agencies. He also insisted that all media focus remain firmly on him, dismissing Police Commissioner Bill Bratton when he threatened to distract the media spotlight from staying exclusively on Giuliani. He also restricted the flow of potentially embarassing government information and statistics from good government groups and the media.

Similarly, he repeated attempted to restrict public protest. He has been repeatedly rebuked by the courts for his improper efforts to limit citizen’s First Amendment rights of protest.

Nonetheless, Giuliani’s first term was brilliant in changing the public attitudes about the City and reforming City government. Unfortunately, he achieved the bulk of his agenda by the end of his first term, and when re-elected he was largely floundering without direction.

In his second term, it appeared that he was not operating from a vision for the City, but rather lashing out at whatever offended his eye at the moment. His attacks on two exhibits at the Brooklyn Museum are prime examples of this, and he was again rebuked by the courts for actions in violation of the First Amendment.

Other attacks were on street vendors, taxis, newsstands, and other groups with little political and economic power. Perhaps most significant was his support of aggressive police tactics, which became widely perceived as falling inappropriately harshly on City blacks. These types of incidents began to show Giulani as harsh, unyielding and out of touch with the people of the City.

Later, his personal and marital situation devolved into comic opera.

The World Trade Center attack provided the type of situation where Giuliani is at his best. However, were he to continue in office, once the immediate crisis passes his flaws would return to the fore.

I am not happy with any of the major mayoral candidates running now, finding them to all be overly entrenched career politicians, except for Mike Bloomberg, who seems to be out of touch with the realities how of governing a major city is different from a running a focused corporation. However, I think a third term for Giuliani would be worse than a transition to any of the current major candidates.

The few New Yorkers that I know love the guy. He got rid of the street corner window washers. That’s all I need to know. :slight_smile:

People accuse me of being one of his ‘lovers’ (whatever that means!!) I do share his almost total intolerance to criminal activity. On reducing it he was very successful. He gave New York that swagger “We can kick your city’s ass” attitude. He to an extent kept businesses in the city, which helped gave the city a surplus budget.

Billdo made a great summary of Giuliani’s record in office. Let me add that he would have been an awesome opponent against Hilary Clinton for Senate, if it weren’t for the way he handled the scandals in the police department, especially the Dorismond case. The ‘frienship’ with Ms. Judi Nathan effectively ended his immediate political future, ensuring for a least a while the curse of the Mayor for New York City never attaining a higher elected office to remain.

Well, I will happily concede that he has been stellar in the days since 9/11. But my feelings on him prior to that point…I despised the man.

Why? Here are a few of the biggies.

(1) Rudy and the NYPD. Crime in the city is way down. I will give him that. But at a real cost. Reports of police harassment of civilians are way up, and Rudy has fought any attempts to increase public oversight and/or proper disciplinary action. When high-profile misconduct cases broke (such as the Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo, or Patrick Dorismond cases), Rudy’s first instinct was not just to take the cops’ side, but to publicly slander the victims as best as he could.

(2) Rudy and Public Accountability. Information that had long been freely available from City Hall to the press or to public watchdog groups abruptly dried up. Rudy took any attempt at public oversight as a challenge to his authority, and fought it. Suddenly, even our Public Advocate–an elected official whose job is more or less to keep an eye on the city government on the people’s behalf–had to use Freedom of Information Act requests to get the data he needed to do his job. Any member of the press critical of Rudy was The Enemy and was treated as such. When called on this trend by reporters, he would typically make some snide remark and move on to the next question.

(3) Rudy the Petty Tyrant. Those publicly critical of Rudy tended to get some sort of childish slap in the face in response. When a City Council member found fault with his policy on the homeless, Rudy responded by trying to evict a number of state-run psychiatric service organizations from a city-owned building in the councillor’s district. Name-calling and insults in public forums were also popular tactics.

Is the city a better place to live due to the Giuliani years? In many ways yes. Does Rudy act upon his personal beliefs rather than rely on public opinion polls? Oh yes, and I respect him for that. But he is a nasty, petty man–and prior to last Tuesday, seeing him on the television made me want to slap him upside the head.

Incidentally, kudos to Billdo for that nicely done recap.