You are the company you keep.

captdd756ab6597d407cba1fd323a9320b56aptopix_giuliani_2008_vttt101.jpg[photo: AP/Toby Talbot]

Rudy Giuliani may trumpet himself as the White Knight who will save America from the Evil Brown Ones, and he may refer to his third wife's daughter as "ours", but he just can’t change history. And now with the Bernie Kerik's looming indictment for tax evasion and charges of conspiracy for his eavesdropping for Jeanine Pirro, Rudy Giuliani is trying desperately to separate himself from his erstwhile police commissioner.

After failing to convince New Yorkers that they wanted him to continue on after his term as Mayor had expired, Rudy Giuliani went into business with his good buddy, Bernie Kerik, by hiring him on as a consultant with Giuliani Partners, a "security" company incorporated to capitalize on the events of 9/11. Bullet-headed Bernie, Giuliani’s lieutenant, the man whose name graced the prison complex in lower Manhattan until Mayor Bloomberg thought it was a tad inappropriate that a man who pled guilty to ethics violations should be honored thusly and had the plaque removed. (Frankly, I enjoy the irony.)

Rudy and Bernie (or, as blogger res ipsa loquitur likes to call them, “Bada” and “Bing”) are the Bobbsey Twins of Self-Aggrandizement. I’ve documented in haphazard fashion Rudy’s delusional beliefs about his mad mayoral and counter-terrorism skillz and his ability to clamp down on his bowels in the face of some pretty scary shit, but what about Bernie’s? Still riding high on the glory of the crumbling buildings, Bernie finagled a job as the Interim Minister of the Interior for Paul Bremer and the Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He lasted 3 months, most of which was spent going on raids with mercenaries instead of building the foundation for an Iraqi police force. Then, when the Bush Administration decided that it needed a leader for its Homeland Security Administration, they propagated the trope of “America’s Mayor” and turned to Rudy for advice. Rudy insisted they appoint Bernie Kerik without even vetting him. Bush put forward Kerik’s nomination, and I think we all remember how well THAT turned out.  He didn't even make it past the illegal nanny question.

The Achilles heel that plagues George Bush also plagues Rudy and Bernie – the misguided belief that their very existence demands unwavering and neverending loyalty by those whom they use and discard. Enter publishing impresario and Kerik’s former girlfriend, Judith Regan, his paramour with whom he shacked up in an apartment overlooking the smoldering ruins (an apartment that was intended, by the way, for relief workers desperately needing respite from their grueling jobs). Well, Rudy and Bernie treated her as background noise when they would pow-wow on business deals (shady or otherwise), blithely assuming that she wasn’t really listening in and that, hell, she wouldn’t say anything anyway. What Rudy didn’t count on was the very real power of a woman scorned. In the latest issue of The New Republic, Judith Regan threatened to spill some delectable beans and bring Giuliani’s campaign down if it makes any kind of substantive progress on the national scale.

It’s hard NOT to make the comparison to “The Sopranos” without being accused of anti-Italian sentiment, but these people create remarkably similar dramas. So the question I’m posing today is this: If these are the types of people Rudy Giuliani keeps close to him, what could we possibly expect from his administration?

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