Rudy's Hurdles

It’s still unclear what damage will result from today’s revelation that Rudy Giuliani had been briefed about some of Bernard Kerik’s connections to a suspicious construction company before the former mayor championed his former security guard as secretary of Homeland Security. Giuliani has in large part based his run on the perception that he is a man of impeccable integrity and judgment. The Kerik story seems to undercut that.

But Giuliani has proved extremely resilient. He has so far managed to maintain high poll numbers despite a barrage of stories about his rather liberal stance on social issues and his soap opera personal life, which took another twist last week when it was revealed that his third wide, Judith Nathan, had a previously unknown first marriage, making Rudy her third husband.

But some rivals of Giuliani think that the more potent weapon against him is to point out Rudy’s endorsement of liberal Mario Cuomo as proof that he is not the steadfast fiscal conservative he claims to be. To that end, a craftily edited YouTube clip recently appeared, raising questions about Rudy’s commitment to cutting taxes. Rudy’s defenders were quick to point out the clip’s innacuracy. But it nevertheless shows how sensitive they are to that line of attack.

–Jason Horowitz