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Giuliani's Tone is Off.

Rudy Giuliani is having too much fun. He is laughing at his own supposed cleverness.

Laughing openly at Barack Obama's having been a community organizer was unseemly. I agree with Giuliani that it's a relatively lightweight job for a future President, but it should have been handled with a much more subtle touch -- not open mockery. Actually, the words of Giuliani's speech on this point were subtle enough, but Giuliani read them much too broadly. (Further, community organizer is not Obama's last position (the Senate is), but it does seem to have been his most formative job.)

Much of the rest of the words of Giuliani's speech are OK -- and there are some good lines -- but the tone of his speech is a bit off, especially in the first 5-10 minutes.

unhyphenatedconservative (mail):
I think Giuiliani's tone was in response to the crowd's response.

BTW, what feed are you getting? I'm watching a live feed and he's still talking. It sounds like you've seen the end already
9.3.2008 11:24pm
taney71:
I think it was fine. Giuiliani's speech so far has been the best of the DNC and RNC.
9.3.2008 11:25pm
Constantin:
I'm predisposed to agree with the things Giuliani's saying, so mine's not an unbiased assessment. But I think he's doing a great job. The mockery of the community organizer stuff is as legit as the other side's mockery of Palin's time as mayor of Wasilla (I think they're both fair game).
9.3.2008 11:28pm
Fury:
Laughing openly at Barack Obama's having been a community organizer was unseemly.

Agreed. When I heard this on the radio, I cringed. Very tacky...
9.3.2008 11:32pm
Perseus (mail):
I agree with Giuliani that it's a relatively lightweight job for a future President, but it should have been handled with a much more subtle touch -- not open mockery.

I tend to agree. A milder Reaganesque jibe would have been better. But Giuliani is a New Yorker after all.
9.3.2008 11:33pm
unhyphenatedconservative (mail):
I think that Giuilian's mockery is probably indicative of a question most of America is asking itself. What the hell is a "community organizer?" We get Mayor or Governor or Senator. But how many voters can think of their local "community organizer?"
9.3.2008 11:35pm
Melancton Smith:
As a resident of Chicago, I can tell the rest of the US what a "community organizer" is. He's the guy that works for the Chicago Machine Democrat to get the vote out for the machine candidates. You visit churches and businesses and help arrange for grants and other bribes to influence voters.
9.3.2008 11:43pm
Two-Fisted Law Student (mail):
Is tonight's theme for the convention "piss off, volunteers"?
9.3.2008 11:44pm
DNL (mail):
I liked the speech and thought he delivered it well, but then again, I'm a New Yorker.

I thought the "Drill Baby Drill" groupthink chant was horrific, though.
9.3.2008 11:47pm
FlimFlamSam:
I've been a politico for years and I was asking myself "what the hell is a community organizer."

I thought Guiliani was spot-on.
9.3.2008 11:52pm
byomtov (mail):
I missed it. Did Rudy talk about family values and the sanctity of marriage?
9.3.2008 11:54pm
TruthInAdvertising:
"I've been a politico for years and I was asking myself "what the hell is a community organizer.""

It's like being a PTA mom.
9.3.2008 11:59pm
hey (mail):
"drill baby" was the catch phrase from Michael Steel's speech and the crowd figured out that it was one hell of a lot better than a "U-S-A" chant.

I loved Rudy' speech. He was fairly responsive to the crowd, especially on the "community organizer... WTF?" line. Crowd got ALL up in that.

Sarah is actually doing better than Rudy. My only complaint - where the hell was this Rudy the last 18 months? Goddamit.
9.4.2008 12:00am
holdfast (mail):
I've been a politico for years and I was asking myself "what the hell is a community organizer."

-I always assumed it was some sort of Saul Alinsky-inspired, communist party vanguard thing. Based on the Annenberg-Ayers connection, I'm pretty sure I am correct.
9.4.2008 12:01am
swift boater (mail):
As a Gothamite who had the honor of voting for Rudy three times, I can tell you what he thinks of "Commuity Organizers"-not much, and for good reason. "Rabble Rouser" I believe is the formal name for these guys. NYC has its own "Community Organizer" in Chief, Al Sharpton.

To my friend DNL, if you found the "Drill Now" chant off putting, perhaps you remember the "No Justice, No Peace" chant? That is the preferred one of the Community Organizer's. I agree that all people deserve justice, but what that chant is more in line with is a lynch mob. I bet Obama has used it more than once himself.

Swift Boating = telling it like it is.
9.4.2008 12:02am
FlimFlamSam:
holdfast,

You hit the nail on the head, I have always thought the phrase "community organizer" was tinged with communism. Seriously.
9.4.2008 12:04am
smitty1e:
I thought Rudy was being a New Yorker.
9.4.2008 12:04am
FlimFlamSam:
Unhyphenated, you still on here?
9.4.2008 12:05am
Rob999 (mail) (www):
Rudy's tone - openly mocking Obama - is a response to the last six days of disgraceful behavior from the left. The gloves are off. Nobody has wanted to ridicule Obama - because of his historic importance - but what goes around comes around and it's time to call and empty suit an empty suit. And if laughter goes with that, so be it. Sic semper possumus.
9.4.2008 12:06am
PC:
Out of the GOP speeches so far, have they mentioned any accomplishments over the last 8 years?
9.4.2008 12:08am
EH (mail):
But how many voters can think of their local "community organizer?"

People who go to church probably have an idea.
9.4.2008 12:10am
EH (mail):
Rob999:
The gloves are off. Nobody has wanted to ridicule Obama - because of his historic importance - but what goes around comes around and it's time to call and empty suit an empty suit.


McCain and Giuliani have a lot in common when it comes to divorces. What's your favorite "Family Values" joke?
9.4.2008 12:12am
FlimFlamSam:
"People who go to church probably have an idea."

I go to church and I've never heard of a "community organizer."

"Out of the GOP speeches so far, have they mentioned any accomplishments over the last 8 years?"

Gee, I don't know, how about keeping America safe in the face of international terrorism? How many suicide bombings have there been in the United States since September 11th?
9.4.2008 12:15am
DNL (mail):
@swift boater:

I learned in Kindergarten that two wrongs do not make a right. I have no idea what a chant of "no justice, no peace" has to do with the unseemliness of "drill baby drill".
9.4.2008 12:16am
PC:
Gee, I don't know, how about keeping America safe in the face of international terrorism? How many suicide bombings have there been in the United States since September 11th?


Okay, other than not protecting us from 9/11 and the anthrax attacks, has anything else been mentioned in the GOP speeches?
9.4.2008 12:18am
Rob999 (mail) (www):
@EH: My favorite family values joke is that I want to leave Iraq in victory. My second-favorite family values joke is that I want lower taxes.
9.4.2008 12:18am
Ari (mail) (www):
Come on. Giuliani's speech was excellent: His "supposed" cleverness was utterly genuine and very sharp. The community organizer dig was great.
9.4.2008 12:19am
FlimFlamSam:
PC,

I guess you missed the part where Bill Clinton dropped the ball on capturing Osama bin Laden.

But why would actual facts make a difference to a guy (girl?) like you?
9.4.2008 12:23am
CanadaRob:

(Further, community organizer is not Obama's last position (the Senate is), but it does seem to have been his most formative job.)


Probably in response to Palin being mocked as a small town Mayor. Not her current position either.
9.4.2008 12:25am
FlimFlamSam:
Ok, not a joking question. Who signs the paychecks of a "community organizer"?
9.4.2008 12:27am
Sam Draper (mail):
I enjoyed his joie de vivre.
9.4.2008 12:28am
ZZZ Fredrik Nyman (mail):
Indeed, Canadarob. "My understanding is that Gov. Palin's town, Wassilla, has I think 50 employees. We've got 2500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe 12 million dollars a year -- [my campaign has] a budget of about three times that just for the month."
9.4.2008 12:28am
PC:
I guess you missed the part where Bill Clinton dropped the ball on capturing Osama bin Laden.


Great point. That's another accomplishment the GOP should be mentioning at the convention.
9.4.2008 12:30am
Jane (mail):

Laughing openly at Barack Obama's having been a community organizer was unseemly


I didn't find is unseemly at all. I've been trying to figure out what kind of a BS job this is since I first heard about it.
9.4.2008 12:31am
FlimFlamSam:
PC,

Yeah, cause Osama has been out in the open during the Bush Administration like he was during the Clinton Administration.

Get your head out of your ass.
9.4.2008 12:40am
Bryan C (mail):
I loved Rudy's delivery. He was having fun, and so was the audience. Obama's faux-gravitas deserves to be mocked, and Rudy hit all the right points.
9.4.2008 12:41am
FlimFlamSam:
PC,

You know, one more thing. If you can honestly deny that the Bush Adminsitration has done a good job containing international terrorism, you are absolutely living in a world of unreality. It's surprising to me that there are people out there who as that clueless.
9.4.2008 12:41am
Fat Man (mail):
"Laughing openly at Barack Obama's having been a community organizer was unseemly."

Spare me. The whole idea of a community organizer is laughable. Thinking that it is a real job for an ivy league grad is deserving of nothing but mockery. Claiming it as a qualification for anything is just plain silly.
9.4.2008 12:44am
bc (mail):
Well, Obama says He'll seek criminal prosecution of Bush's people and Bush. I guess they figure bad press really is better than no press.
9.4.2008 12:48am
EH (mail):
I go to church and I've never heard of a "community organizer."

Yabbut...you can kinda figure it out, right?
9.4.2008 12:57am
anonymous100:
"Rudy's tone - openly mocking Obama - is a response to the last six days of disgraceful behavior from the left. The gloves are off. Nobody has wanted to ridicule Obama - because of his historic importance - but what goes around comes around and it's time to call and empty suit an empty suit."

I don't know what "left" you are talking about. The Obama campaign itself did very little in way of criticizing Palin. In fact, just today Biden repeatedly stated that he has no reason not to respect Gov. Palin and that he would debate her on the issues. Obama compared his campaign to her time as mayor because he was told that "the right" has argued that she has more executive experience than he does and would be better equipped at handling a natural disaster. The media has given her a hard time, but it would do so to any politician new to the national stage.
9.4.2008 1:01am
FlimFlamSam:
EH,

Who in a community needs "organizing"? I've never had someone drop by my house and try to organize me. Call me clueless, but I don't get it.
9.4.2008 1:02am
TruthInAdvertising:
"Who in a community needs "organizing"? I've never had someone drop by my house and try to organize me. Call me clueless, but I don't get it."

OK, you're clueless. Republicans do this kind of stuff all of the time too.
9.4.2008 1:07am
Rob999 (mail) (www):
@anonymous100: She's been absolutely savaged through the left blogosphere. (You should try to keep up with events if you're going to post comments.)

And if Obama can't keep his supporters at least a little bit in line, then I don't see how he can hope to be competent as president.
9.4.2008 1:08am
James Lindgren (mail):
Who pays the paycheck of Community Organizers? Usually, we do.

City Journal revealed that Obama's project in the 1980s was founded by churches but ended up funded 80% by the government.
9.4.2008 1:15am
holdfast (mail):

Who pays the paycheck of Community Organizers? Usually, we do.

City Journal revealed that Obama's project in the 1980s was founded by churches but ended up funded 80% by the government.


Hmm - if he was our employee, can we give him a bad review? Did he "organize" people to attend Rev Wright's hate whitey seminars?
9.4.2008 1:22am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Jim Lindgren - too bad Palin spoiled your day.
9.4.2008 1:23am
hawkins:

@anonymous100: She's been absolutely savaged through the left blogosphere. (You should try to keep up with events if you're going to post comments.)

And if Obama can't keep his supporters at least a little bit in line, then I don't see how he can hope to be competent as president.


Politicians are supposed to have control over all the fanatics in their party? This is not better for the GOP than the Dems.
9.4.2008 1:24am
unhyphenatedconservative (mail):
"The media has given her a hard time, but it would do so to any politician new to the national stage."

Like those hard hitting exposes on the Obsiah on whether he would heal the lepers before raising the dead or raise the dead before healing the lepers?
9.4.2008 1:26am
Suzy (mail):
I thought his laughter was rather excessive too. It might be helpful to remember that while many voters they want to attract are not sold on Obama, or are even suspicious, they don't seem to dislike him. It's also strange to me that an ivy-league education is something to be mocked, now, rather than something all families might aspire to for their kids.
9.4.2008 1:40am
FlimFlamSam:
Suzy,

When Bill Buckley made his famous comment about preferring to be governed by the first thousand names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty, he made an excellent point. There are a lot of us who are suspicious of Ivy League educations. In my experience, the best leaders are not typically intelligent enough to get into an Ivy League school. I suppose that's another way of saying that leadership and intelligence are not particularly well correlated.
9.4.2008 1:44am
Careless:
Someone on CNN after Palin's speech (I forget his name, but he frequently writes really stupid editorials for the website) threatened the GOP with the wrath of the nation's community organizers. McCain will rue the day, I'm sure
9.4.2008 1:49am
FlimFlamSam:
Careless,

Keith Olberman did the same thing on MSNBC. McCain clearly lost the community organizer vote, hahahahahaha.
9.4.2008 1:53am
Rob999 (mail) (www):
@FlimFlamSam: The Ivy League schools were captured by Marxists between the 50s and 70s. Now they're a net-negative on the health of the U.S.
9.4.2008 1:56am
Neil:

I don't know what "left" you are talking about. The Obama campaign itself did very little in way of criticizing Palin.


One of Obama's spokesmen charged (falsely, it turned out) that Palin supported Pat Buchanan in 2000, calling Buchanan a Nazi sympathizer (which, needless to say, is also false). This was a repeat of a charge initially leveled by a Democratic member of the House from FL.

Accusing someone of supporting a Nazi sympathizer seems pretty gloves-off to me.
9.4.2008 2:08am
Psalm91 (mail):
"Gee, I don't know, how about keeping America safe in the face of international terrorism? How many suicide bombings have there been in the United States since September 11th?"

Except for the iceberg, the Titanic had a successful voyage. He became president on 1.20.01 and was amply warned of the risk which actually caused harm. He simply ignored the warnings.

For the apparent few where who are litigators, these are opening statements. Each side gets them, then the trial really starts. The jury doesn't vote until after the presentation of evidence, and is instructed that argument is not evidence. It is for this reason that the evidentiary record of the last eight years, or the McCain record of the last 26 years, is not going to be mentioned by the McCain-Palin campaign.
9.4.2008 2:08am
FlimFlamSam:
Psalm91,

Yes, I'm sure that McCain-Palin thought "Wow, this is like a big trial, now what is the judge going to instruct the American people?"

Lame comparison. (And yes, before you attack me, I am a litigator.)
9.4.2008 2:18am
FlimFlamSam:
Oh, Psalm91, and do you actually think the jury obeys the judge when he instructs that "argument is not evidence"? Jurors instinctively know that just because a lawyer says it, it ain't necessarily so. But at the same time, my recollection of jury studies is that most cases are won or lost in the opening statements. And right now, Palin > Biden. We'll see tomorrow if McCain > Obama.
9.4.2008 2:21am
Greg Q (mail) (www):
When Senator Barack Obama actually accomplishes something besides winning elections, then he might be deserving of some respect.

Until then, the treatment Governor Palin (and Mayor Giuliani) gave him was exactly what he deserves.

I ask, again: What has Barack Obama ever accomplished in his life? How has he made the world a better place?
9.4.2008 2:54am
LM (mail):
EIDE_Interface:

Jim Lindgren - too bad Palin spoiled your day.

???
9.4.2008 6:26am
hawkins:

When Senator Barack Obama actually accomplishes something besides winning elections


I honestly dont know, what has McCain accomplished in his life besides winning elections?

While not a "real world" accomplishment, graduating magna cum laude from HLS certainly is an "accomplishment."
9.4.2008 8:55am
Anonymous #000:
I honestly dont know, what has McCain accomplished in his life besides winning elections?

Well, that certainly sums up certain groups' perception of the military, and a few peoples' of aviation technology.
9.4.2008 11:09am
CJColucci:
There was a reason the lavishly-funded Giuliani campaign garnered ONE delegate.
9.4.2008 12:50pm
Thales (mail) (www):
Neil: Re Pat Buchanan, please read the following article:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20080904/cm_huffpost/123755

It is difficult to review Pat Buchanan's voluminous spoken and written record and not come away convinced that he is at the very least bigoted and horribly uninformed about the history of Nazi Germany. Except that he's too intelligent for the latter, so, sadly, the best explanation is that he's deliberately deceptive. The charge of sympathizer seems pretty accurate to me.
9.4.2008 2:39pm
eyesay:
Jim Lindgren wrote: "I agree with Giuliani that it's a relatively lightweight job for a future President...."

This comment is silly on four levels:

1. Relatively compared to what? Harry Truman was a haberdasher. Ronald Reagan's profession was an actor in "grade B" motion pictures. Community organizer is lightweight compared to those?

2. Time of life: Barack Obama was a community organizer between earning his bachelor's degree and entering Harvard Law School. Teens and young adults often take occupations that aren't as "substantial" as their subsequent ones.

3. Community organizing is what Sarah Palin did when she was working, as she said in her speech, on the PTA. Community organizing is what many conservative organizations such as the Christian Coalition do. The idea seems to be that when liberals do it, it's [sneer] community organizing [/sneer] but when conservatives do it, it's, uh, uh, [mind explodes].

4. Community organizing as practiced by Barack Obama during 1985 to 1988 was director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP) &mdash not flunky, but director. Under his leadership, a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization were set up. Conservatives no less than liberals should support at least the first two if not all three of these.

Community Organizer: a serious profession, more serious than that of at least two post-WWII presidents, occurring anyway before Obama went to Harvard Law, and where he managed significant achievements. It's what conservatives (Including Sarah Palin) do no less than liberals. What an idiotic attack on the part of Mr. Giuliani and other Republicans.
9.4.2008 2:49pm
eyesay:
FlimFlamSam wrote: "Ok, not a joking question. Who signs the paychecks of a 'community organizer'?"

Most likely, a community organizer's salary is auto-deposited into his or her checking account, so there is no paycheck, but I think the intent of your question is something like, "what sort of organization employs community organizers?"

The answer is, some are faith-based, including churches, synagogues, dioceses, organizations within one religious grouping (e.g. Jewish federations), and interfaith organizations. Some are issues-based, such as environmental action groups.

The organization that hired Barack Obama was Developing Communities Project, a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes on Chicago's far South Side.
9.4.2008 3:02pm
eyesay:
Jane wrote "I've been trying to figure out what kind of a BS job [Community Organizer] is since I first heard about it."

Jane, I don't think you've tried very hard. You could have read the Wikipedia article on Barack Obama and read the summary details of his work as a community organizer, and you could have clicked on "community organizer" in the second paragraph. You could also have gone to Wikipedia and searched on "Community organizer" — which would take you to Wikipedia's article on Community organizing.

There are over 500,000 Google hits for "Community organizer" (with the quotes). Jane, don't be so helpless. In this Internet age, it's easy to find out stuff like this.
9.4.2008 3:13pm
eyesay:
FlimFlamSam wrote, "If you can honestly deny that the Bush Adminsitration [sic] has done a good job containing international terrorism, you are absolutely living in a world of unreality."

I deny that the Bush administration has done a good job containing international terrorism. To support this, I point out that, prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Al Qaeda had no presence in Iraq, but thanks to the Bush administrations's blundering us into Iraq (at the cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives and tens of thousands of American casualties), Al Qaeda now does have a presence in Iraq. (I'm not making this up, it comes from the Bush administration's own State Department.) The Bush administration failed to secure Afghanistan before blundering into Iraq, forfeiting substantially all of our early accomplishments in overthrowing the Taliban regime. The Bush administration opposed legislation that would have stepped up inspection of container freight entering U.S. ports. The Bush administration promotes the use of torture, and fosters a culture of disdain for preventing torture, in our own military, which has increased hostility towards America and American values and made us more likely to be targets of terror.
9.4.2008 3:25pm
Uni Petrowska (mail):
I suspect the Obama campaign will quickly shift to referring to her, exclusively, as "Governor Palin" or "the Governor", eliminate the use of the words "Sarah", "she", "her", "mother", "gal". They suspect most Americans will forget she is a woman, if they always refer to her by title as a person of position and power.
9.4.2008 6:22pm