Rudy Giuliani's Vulnerabilities

Secret study cited 'weirdness factor' among candidate weaknesses

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Rudy Giuliani's Vulnerabilities

FEBRUARY 12--As he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudolph Giuliani will have to contend with political and personal baggage unknown to prospective supporters whose knowledge of the former New York mayor is limited to his post-September 11 exploits.

So, in a bid to educate the electorate, we're offering excerpts from a remarkable "vulnerability study" that was commissioned by Giuliani's campaign prior to his successful 1993 City Hall run. The confidential 450-page report, authored by Giuliani's research director and another aide, was the campaign's attempt to identify possible lines of attack against Giuliani and prepare the candidate and his staff to counter "the kinds of no-holes-barred assault" expected in a general election rematch with Democratic incumbent David Dinkins.

As he tried to win election in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, Giuliani needed "inoculating against" the "Reagan Republican moniker," the vulnerability study reported. "The Giuliani campaign should emphasize its candidate's independence from traditional national Republican policies." The final six words of that sentence are underlined in the study.

Additionally, the Giuliani report noted that the candidate needed to make it clear to voters that he was "pretty good on most issues of concern to gay and lesbian New Yorkers" and was pro-choice and supported public funding for abortion. "He will continue city funding for abortions at city hospitals. Nothing more, nothing less." Giuliani's stance on these issues, of course, may leave him vulnerable today with an entirely different electorate.

The campaign study was obtained by The Village Voice's Wayne Barrett in the course of preparing "Rudy!," an investigative biography of Giuliani.

In its preface, the study notes that it is "tough and hard-hitting. It pulls no punches." Perhaps that is why Giuliani, as Barrett reported, ordered copies of the vulnerability study destroyed shortly after it was circulated to top campaign aides. He surely could not have been pleased to read that his "personal life raises questions about a 'weirdness factor.'"

That weirdness, aides reported, stemmed from Giuliani's 14-year marriage to his second cousin, a union that he got annulled by claiming to have never received proper dispensation from the Catholic Church for the unorthodox nuptials. "When asked about his personal life, Giuliani gives a wide array of conflicting answers," the campaign report stated. "All of this brings the soundness of his judgement into question--and the veracity of his answers."

The internal study also addresses prospective charges that Giuliani dodged the Vietnam draft and was a "man without convictions" because of his transformation from George McGovern voter to a Reagan-era Justice Department appointee. "In many ways Rudy Giuliani is a political contradiction...He doesn't really fit with the Republicans. Too liberal. Giuliani has troubles with the Democrats, too."

On the following pages, you'll find the vulnerability report's cover and preface and sections on Reagan Republicanism, women and abortion, Giuliani's first marriage and divorce, draft dodging, gay issues, racial polarization, and his party registration 'flip-flop.' (27 pages)