Sunday, March 18, 2007

Team Rudy

This is not a political blog. That would not be appropriate for someone who doesn’t get to vote. But I do reserve the right to comment on candidates and campaigns on a theoretical level and from a non-partisan viewpoint. After all, I’m a West Wing junkie, who often daydreams of a life as an arthritic Josh Leiman, proffering wise strategic suggestions to the denizens of the West Wing.

So what would I tell Rudolph Giuliani? I would suggest that at this stage in the game he—and indeed all the potential candidates—needs to forge a strong identity and place himself squarely in the sights of the American public. Physically there’s not much Giuliani can do. Put him in a line-up with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and . . . well, you get the picture. Absent any distinguishing characteristics of gender or ethnicity even a shock of grey hair or a southern accent would help. When I have trouble visualizing Rudolph Giuliani, I conjure up the image of Bob Newhart, take away the phone and add a “I heart NY” baseball cap, and voilà, here’s Rudy.

So it’s his message that has to be strong and distinctive. This week we got a letter inviting us to become part of “Team Rudy.” At least, Ernie did, because “you are someone who makes up your mind early. You are influential in your community. . . " Hmm. Such is the insight of the “Rudy Giuliani Presidential Exploratory Committee, Inc.” Now this missive should be a strong introduction to the candidate, right? His defining message?

Sidebar: there are several words in the English language that set my teeth on edge. One is “passion.” Ever watched Project Runway? Every one of those people wants to avoid elimination because “I have a passion for creating clothes.” Every one. Same with the contestants on Top Chef. How does one get passionate about squid gelée? Remember the skivvy on Upstairs, Downstairs who had a passion for the coachman? She hanged herself: that’s real passion. Another word I can’t stand is “vision.” St. Bernadette had one: the rest of us use the word as an amorphous excuse for lack a particulars.

So what does Rudy (well, I think he wants us to call him Rudy) say?

I am passionate about seizing our opportunity and sharing a vision of how America can be better. I want your help to begin that work today.
What does that mean? Too many gerunds, for one thing.

What’s a ”better” America? A richer America? A more educated America? A safer America? A more moral America? Get on message if you want a distinctive identity to attract votes, Bob . . . er, Rudy.

1 comment:

candyschultz said...

A better America is one without Rudy Giuliani as President. If you look into the real story of 9/11 his biggest concern was his own safety. While that might be important for a President not so much for a mayor. His whole record as mayor needs to be considered before he is even remotely given a green light. That record is truly dismal.