Clyde Haberman, New York Times metro section columnist, had an interesting, but simple column on Rudy in today’s edition. Using the phony phone incident as a backdrop, Haberman explores the gaffes and fake personalities that Mr. Giuliani uses to create his appeal. Most recently, asides from the phone incident, Giuliani told reporters in England that he was among the top five most famous Americans (I’m not so sure he was joking). Certainly, I’d put at least 20 more in front of him.
The problem Giuliani has is understanding the difference between popularity and noteriety. Popularity is about being liked. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was popular. He was loved. So was Ike, Reagan and Bill Clinton. Not so much with Rudy. Noteriety is what he has in places where people are less inclined to wave flags mindlessly or know by heart all the NASCAR numbers by heart. He’s notorious for his arrogance, oversimplicity and bullying.