At last! The longest and most bizarre presidential campaign in history is finally over. People who haven’t already voted are heading to the polls today. But while it may be days before we know who the actual winner is, Donald Trump or Joe Biden, we already know who the big loser is: disgraced former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
For political historians, one of the biggest mysteries of the 21st century will remain:
How Giuliani went from being celebrated worldwide as “America’s Mayor” to being disgraced as a purveyor of fake news, an international buffoon, the catalyst for Donald Trump’s impeachment, and the clueless target of Borat’s latest prank remains a mystery for political historians.
Giuliani played a prominent role in the rescue effort after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, his last year as Mayor of New York. He then disappeared from public view, only to resurface in 2015, when his real-estate buddy and fellow playboy Donald Trump decided to run for president. It’s been downhill ever since.
Even though he didn’t land a job in the new administration, Giuliani stayed close to Trump, loosely operating as an outside legal adviser, until he came up with a crazy scheme to undermine former Vice President Joe Biden, already emerging as Trump’s strongest potential opponent in 2020.
Using his own questionable business contacts in Ukraine, and taking advantage of Hunter Biden’s own poor judgment in joining the board of a Ukrainian company, Giuliani conned President Trump into calling the president of Ukraine and asking him to open a criminal investigation into Joe Biden — as a result of which Donald Trump became only the third president to be impeached. Thank you, Rudy.
Anyone with common sense would think that’d be enough to convince Trump not to trust Giuliani anymore. But oh, no. Common sense is not a Trump thing when it comes to shady operations. So he fell for Giuliani’s latest attempt to swift boat Biden’s reputation — this time a bizarre plot involving a broken-down laptop, salacious emails, and yet another questionable business deal by Hunter Biden, this one in China. After assigning a team of reporters to investigate it, even the Wall Street Journal refused to publish the story, concluding it showed “no role for Joe Biden.”
Still, Trump continues to pump it at every campaign rally — even after being warned by intelligence officials last year that Giuliani was being used by Russian agents as a conduit for anti-Biden disinformation.
Then, as if that were not enough to destroy what was left of Giuliani’s credibility, along comes Sacha Baron Cohen — who pranked Giuliani to appear in the hilarious final scene of his latest Borat film, in which he was caught either “tucking in his shirt” or fondling his genitals.
Why did he agree to an interview with a phony TV network? Why agree to do the interview in a hotel room? And, after the interview, why agree to have a drink with the young woman “reporter” in her adjacent bedroom? And Rudy accuses Joe Biden of poor judgment?
After he’s careened from one embarrassment to another, the big question is: Why does anybody still believe anything Rudy Giuliani says or does? He’s the only person in public life today with less credibility than Donald Trump.