Giuliani's rough road | Bleader

Friday, February 16, 2007

Giuliani's rough road

Posted By on 02.16.07 at 07:02 AM

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As if Rudy Giuliani didn't have enough problems as a potential presidential candidate, what with being too pro-choice and pro-gay for his own party and too Republican or too authoritarian for Democrats and independents. Now Lake Forest College historian Michael Ebner at History News Network (picked up in this morning's New York Times) notes that the former New York mayor is also running against the antiurban tide of American history in general and American presidential history in particular.

Politically speaking, Grover Cleveland (1885-'89, 1893-'97) is the only U.S. president who started as a big-city mayor. Culturally speaking, the odds are worse: "Well documented is the aversion of the founders to cities per se, which they regarded as fulcrums of political factionalism, unruliness, and rampant dissent.... [Later on,] in the eyes of many Americans their biggest cities seemed politically untamed and culturally uproarious."

Maybe Richard M. Daley should run. At least nobody's ever called him "culturally uproarious." 

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