Thursday, April 19, 2007

Rudy and ’Nam


By Geoffrey Gray

To recap: After receiving several deferments as a student, Giuliani applied for an occupational deferment as a law clerk, but his application was rejected. Giuliani appealed their decision, and asked the federal judge he was clerking for to petition the draft board for him. Which the judge did. When his deferment expired in 1970, Giuliani became susceptible to the draft. He received a high number and was never called. Giuliani “has made it clear that if he had been called up, he would have served,” says Katie Levinson, Giuliani’s spokesperson. He was opposed to the war in Vietnam on “strategic and tactical” grounds, she says. Asked to clarify what tactics Giuliani opposed, Levinson declined to offer specifics. “Voters will choose the next commander-in-chief based on their whole record, and we believe the mayor’s record speaks for itself.”

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Rudolph Giuliani
Former New York City Mayor
Although already well known outside of New York before Sept. 11, 2001, the former mayor truly became an international figure for his cool-headed response to the attack.

In his final months as mayor, Giuliani was hailed as the man who calmed New Yorkers and was the spokesman for a defiant city as it rose from the ashes. Giuliani went to the World Trade Center site shortly after the first plane hit, and narrowly escaped the collapse. During a televised news conference on the evening of Sept. 11, the distraught and exhausted mayor told the world that the casualties would be "more than most of us can bear." At the end of 2001, Time magazine named Giuliani its Person of the Year.

After leaving office in 2002, Giuliani and several aides formed a consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, which has taken on assignments from crime-fighting in Mexico to corruption-busting at horse-racing tracks.

Giuliani has become a major fund-raiser for the Republican Party, and he spoke at the Republican National Convention in August 2004, with his speech making numerous references to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. He is often mentioned as a potential Senate or gubernatorial candidate. He married Judith Nathan in May 2003, less than a year after an ugly public divorce from his former wife, Donna Hanover. His 2002 book, "Leadership," was a best-seller.

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