Wednesday, July 11, 2007


With Friends Like These...

Real Clear Politics details an interesting trend:

Boy, Rudy can sure pick 'em. The former New York Mayor had a good fundraising quarter, outraising every other Republican in the field, but he can't seem to hold on to endorsers. First, President Bush relieved Giuliani of his Iowa state chair when he appointed former Congressman Jim Nussle to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Then, a federal grand jury relieved Giuliani of his South Carolina chairman when it indicted Treasurer Thomas Ravenel on cocaine charges (Ravenel pleaded not guilty and flew to the Sierra Tucson facility for rehabilitation).

Now comes news that the first member of Congress to be swept up in the so-called D.C. Madam case is
Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Vitter, as Marc Ambinder points out, was one of the first top Republicans to throw his weight behind Giuliani, and while Vitter's apology last night may not make Rudy cut him completely adrift, it's certainly a loss of someone who could have played a big role as a conservative liaison.
Vitter's indiscretion -- unlike, say, Ravenel's -- can be even more damaging to Giuliani than just the loss of a "conservative liaison": It directly highlights on one of Giuliani's personal "issues", i.e., infidelity and marital problems.

And, of course, it's not just one hooker. Vitter was apparently not a quitter (the Louisiana madam -- as opposed to the "D.C. Madam" -- speaks quite highly of him). Of course, if his wife is true to her word, politics is the least of Sen. Vitter's worries:

In 2000, his wife, Wendy, was asked if she would stand by her man like Hillary
Clinton if she faced a similar situation.
“I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary,” Mrs. Vitter told Newhouse News. “If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.”

Oh well, one thing Giuliani doesn't have to worry about: His support for gun control means that he won't get Ted Nugent's endorsement. Thank goodness. Otherwise, he might have to worry about a possible trifecta of endorsee scandals covering sex (Vitter), drugs (Ravenel) and rock & roll!

UPDATE: Josh Marshall offers something of a contest that I'd like to give RT readers an opportunity to jump in:

I was thinking it would be interesting to have like a Rudy futures market -- trying to figure out in advance who was likely to be engulfed in a major scandal or caught committing serious felonies so Rudy could hurry up and appoint them to something while the getting was so good.
In any case, that aside, so far we've got Kerik (wenching, bribery, assorted corruption), Ravenel
(coke dealing), Ravenel Sr. (history of racist comments), Vitter (patron of prostitutes) and ...? Who else can you think of? Let us know.
Two words, Mr. Mayor, two words: "Background checks."

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