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Rudy Couldn't Control himself
There he is. I can see him through the car window. He's trying out the roof of City Hall this time. Rudolph Giuliani always is a little man in search of a balcony. We pull up to what was once the public entrance to the plaza and steps of City Hall in New York City, a lovely old building where once they held a wake for Abraham Lincoln and a wonderful, shrieking celebration for Charles A. Lindbergh. And now they have black iron picket fences and gates stopping any car from going in without a dozen placards. Rising out of the cement is a big red steel barricade, a tank trap, with a sign saying, "Stop." From somewhere a buzzer is pushed and the gates open. The red metal barrier disappears into the cement, then rises the moment we're over it. Then we can drive into the plaza in front of the hall. Citizens are required to go through a metal detector. A patrolman has the authority to keep citizens off the steps of the building they own. Any gathering still must have permission of police. A federal judge, Harold Baer, was supposed to end this. He still seems to be afraid of Giuliani. And now here on this roof as we watch him on Friday, Giuliani calls out: "What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do what they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do. Freedom is obedience to a legal authority." How do you like him? How do you like this guy who was supposed to have saved New York? You could look it up. This is what he said and this is precisely what he believes. Next, we see and hear Rudolph Giuliani right inside City Hall. "That is outrageous. That is a disgusting question. How dare you ask me if I have a girlfriend." "Are you saying that she made it on her own?" "Yes, she did. She is not my girlfriend." They were asking if a young woman named Cristyne Lategano was his first girlfriend. She also was Giuliani surly. She was paid $141,000 with no background for much. She next went to the city convention bureau where she is being paid $150,000 and the city's contribution to her bureau's budget went from $5,700,000 to $7,980,000. Absolutely marvelous. "She is not my girlfriend," Giuliani says. "She never was my girlfriend," Giuliani says. "I am not a girlfriend. I am a very, very hard worker," Ms. Lategano says. "She was his girlfriend and she tried to break up my marriage," snaps Donna Hanover, the mayor's wife. Look at him. Look him over. Until you do, you won't know the effect politics has on these poor women. Here is the boss ugliest man we've ever had as mayor of New York. And he comes with a pretty wife and first one girlfriend and then another girlfriend. Now this marriage seems gone because his wife is mad at the old girlfriend and the new girlfriend, too, and any others that might come out of the woodwork. He wanted to control the life of the city down to the footstep. He thought he could end jaywalking, chaotic traffic and he wanted everybody to go up and thank a policeman. He was intent on ending sex in the city. He had building inspectors counting X-rated tapes in video stores. He wanted to put the Ten Commandments into classrooms. Then he was revealed as a guy who couldn't control himself. He turns out to be just another guy blowing it all on a woman. On Wednesday, Giuliani had a press conference without telling his wife that he was going to say he was getting a separation. She came out of the house and hit him with the biggest blow since Bunker Hill. She confirmed on television that Cristyne was his first girlfriend. Making a liar out of him. With a tear, she said she had tried to keep the marriage together. She announced a separation because of his new girlfriend. The new woman was the one who walked cheerfully along Second Avenue with him on Friday night. City desks were told to have photographers and reporters there to protect his privacy. Giuliani happens to have cancer. And two young children. And he keeps around him the idea of running for the Senate and having this new love. And so, at day's end the guy driving me thought for a moment. "What is he?" he asked. "Nuts," I answered. © Copyright 2000, Newsday Inc. Jimmy Breslin, Rudy Couldn't Control Himself, 05-13-2000, pp A04.