Rudy and the New York Renaissance

RUDY AND THE NEW YORK RENAISSANCE….Over at MyDD, Todd Beeton notes that Rudy Giuliani’s latest TV ad in New Hampshire doesn’t mention 9/11 at all. Instead, it’s an (almost) pure paean to the fact that he turned around New York City. New York, Rudy says in the voiceover, was “a city that was in financial crisis, a city that was the crime capital of America, a city that was the welfare capital of America” — until Rudy took over. Eight years later it was sunny, crime free, and “the spirit of the people of the city had changed.”

I think people underestimate this appeal of Rudy’s. (Including me, probably.) Sure, 9/11 is still his meal ticket, but I suspect that an awful lot of his popularity comes less from that than from the widespread idea that he actually accomplished something. Very few politicians can make this claim credibly, which makes it a uniquely powerful pitch. After all, if Rudy could turn around New York City, why not America? Why not the world? We should expect to see a lot more of this: “Morning in New York City” will probably play for Rudy about as well as “Morning in America” did for Ronald Reagan.