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Of course, many of those familiar with Rudy Giuliani's record before 9/11 would likely choose a number of other four letter words to describe him over the word 'hero,' but no matter: He's now considered a hero in American folklore and this country's current political climate dictates that we don't speak ill of our heroes.
That means you don't bring up the widely reported cases of police brutality under his reign as mayor of New York, most notably the death of 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea, Amadou Diallo. Articles such as "Rudy Giuliani's Five Big Lies About 9/11," by the Village Voice, which highlight the many fables orchestrated by his campaign are highly frowned upon as well.
So what gets a hero in trouble? Typically when that hero gets a little too audacious and his tall tells of ‘heroism’ begin to tick off others --- y’know, the real men and women who actually did the work he’s now exploiting as a promotion vehicle for his campaign.
While speaking to a group of reporters at a Cincinnati Reds game, Rudy defended himself against critics who question his handling of the city post-attack.
"This is not a mayor or a governor or a President who's sitting in an ivory tower," Giuliani said. "I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them."
Here is what some of his “co-workers” had to say about America’s Employee of the Month in a New York Daily News article about Giuliani’s comments:
"I personally find that very, very insulting. Standing there doing a photo-op and telling the men, 'You're doing a good job,' I don't consider that to be working." --- Marvin Bethea, a Queen paramedic that suffered a stroke, post-traumatic stress disorder and breathing problems after responding to the attacks.
"He's not one of us. He never has been and he never will be. He never served in a capacity where he was a responder." --- Jonathan Sferazo, a now disabled ex-ironworker who spent one month at Ground Zero.
"[Giuliani] is self-absorbed, arrogant and deluded," said International Association of Fire Fighters spokesman Jeff Zack.
I’m guessing if Giuliani’s home were on fire he would be lucky to even get spit out of the IAFF. Way to go, Rudy!
To be fair, I will include a quote from a Giuliani backer mentioned in the article.
"For me to say I saw him every day [would] not be fair, but I can say I did see the mayor there a large number of times, [trying] to be as helpful and supportive as possible." --- Lee Ielpi, a retired firefighter who lost his son in the attack.
Thank you, Lee for contradicting Rudy’s statement that he was at Ground Zero as often, if not more than most of the workers. That is, based on the assumption that most of the much-needed workers didn’t use their vacation time during the clean up.
Giuliani performed his duties as he was elected to do so. While that is commendable, it would behoove Giuliani to not lay it on any thicker than his campaign team already has. He already has a sleeping giant in his record as mayor to worry over should he become the GOP’s presidential nominee. Try not to ruin the [one] thing you have going for you, Rudy.