Rudy in Reverse
By Maureen Dowd
From the NY TIMES, 6/6/99
Even at this distance, you can almost hear Rudy raving, the shrill
sound of one Mayor carping:
So she's going to do it. Bring her on. I can take her.
She wouldn't know the IRT from the I.R.S. But she thinks she deserves to
be a senator from New
York just because she's a victim?
Fine. I can do that. I can be a victim. I can pry some of that sympathy
vote away from her.
Up until now, I've been doing the victimizing. I've been raining
punishment on New York. I'm very
proud to be the only politician of our time who owes my success to my
reputation as a victimizer.
I'm taking all the fun out of Fun City. I'm closing down all the places
that Bill Clinton would love to
visit when he moves here.
Hillary used to be known as a victimizer, too. But then she realized
that in order to be a hero in this
country, she had to become a victim. And she was lucky. She was married
to Bill Clinton. All she
had to do was wait. Victimization was inevitable.
Bill's romp with Monica transformed Hillary into the most popular,
lovable woman in the country.
Girls jump out of crowds to touch the hem of her garment. She's Our Lady
of Perpetual Conjugal
Suffering, the patron saint of every woman who's ever been wronged.
It's not even going to be a campaign. It's just going to be a massive
ego trip (hers, not mine).
Everything is all about her and her sense of entitlement. It's like "The
First Wives Club," Part II.
But I can take her. No sweat. All I need to do is make myself the
perfect Giuliani victim. It's Giuliani
time for Giuliani. After years of giving pain to New Yorkers, now I need
New Yorkers to feel my
How can I show vulnerability? How can I soften, even feminize, myself?
How can I become a figure
It's not enough that I have no neck, a bad combover and a scary smile.
It will take a lot more than
that to make people feel sorry for me.
I need to be punished. I need to be dealt a blow by fate. I need to be
ennobled by suffering. I need
to cry a little bit and sigh a little bit.
I could ask Donna to pitch in. I could prevail upon her to order some
pizza from a hunky City Hall
intern on a Saturday night when no one else is around. I could get her
to do a Bob Dole and trash my
campaign to The New York Times, maybe even throw her feminist support to
Hillary. That would
I'll start jaywalking all the time. I'll start spitting while I'm
jaywalking. Maybe some unfeeling cop will
give me a ticket, or better still, insult my ethnicity.
I'll let Goalie run around without a leash. If the city catches and
destroys my dog, all of New York
will pity me.
I'll turn up the Puccini on the car radio to 69 decibels, arrest myself
for "unreasonable noise," find
myself guilty, lock myself up, and complain loudly about my Draconian
I'll hail a cab, but all the cabbies will pass me by. When one finally
picks me up, the Sally Jessy
Raphael tape will keep skipping.
I'll gorge on hot dogs from the vendors I tried to shut down and then
suffer terrible indigestion, which
will be my just deserts.
I'll loosen up by learning to do the Booty-Call line dance, like Al
Gore. At ladies' choice, nobody will
ask me to dance. What a sad sack I will be.
I'll beat Hillary to the Martha Stewart punch and publish "Rudolph
Giuliani's Guide to Entertaining at
I'll hire Dick Morris; everybody feels sorry for his clients.
I'll go on morning television and moan about a vast left-wing
conspiracy, from Balthazar to Barney
I'll be conspicuously nestled in one of the community gardens reading
House & Garden.
I'll shop at Restoration Hardware. I won't buy fireplace tools, with
which I might hurt someone. I'll
buy scented candles.
I'll sit in for Regis and powwow with Kathy Lee on gun violence.
I'll summon reporters to my office and dramatically confess that I've
had bouts of depression.
I'll go to the Lilith Fair, and wonder out loud why Joan Osborne's
second record hasn't been
I'll get caught buying pornography, if I can find any.
And if the new Rudy doesn't carry the day, I'll declare martial law.