In January and February, when Rudy Giuliani was rising high in the Republican polls, I nominated him to be the candidate mostly likely to fade fast, and fading fast he is. In polls released today, he has lost 50% of the support he had just 90 days ago.
His status as anchor of the Republican field has been solidified of late because of his Roe vs. Wade answer in last week's debate. However, this is just part of the story.
When the right-wing machine went into overdrive post-9/11, turning George Bush into a leader of mythic levels, Rudy held onto tight to the coattails and became "America's Mayor." The truth was far uglier, and far simpler.
Rudy Giuliani was not a hero on 9/11; far from it. His actions prior to 9/11 were typical of him, and catastrophic, especially to the firefighters on that day. Giuliani overruled security experts and put the command and control center for the entire city in World Trade Center 7 - close enough to the Twin Towers to be destroyed.
Remember, when he made this decision, the Twin Towers were the ONLY target attacked in the United States by a foreign terrorist group (in 1993). Al-Queda had trumpeted their desire to attack the towers again. Giuliani, in a moment of ultimate political crassness mixed with arrogance and incompetence, cost 9/11 lives because of his decision.
Giuliani also cost firefighter lives because his administration never upgraded the radio equipment the firefighters had. If he was a hero that day, don't you think the firefighters would have supported him in his run? In fact, they were itching for the chance to sink the USS Giuliani.
Despite Giuliani's recent attempts to flip, he is a strong social progressive and his record is far too extensive to handle the flopping needed to appeal to the far right.
But ultimately, Giuliani was destroyed for the same reason that George Bush has been destroyed. The marketing machine that made them legends can't work forever. At some point, the product has to stand on its own.
In Giuliani's case, the marketplace is the polls. The plummeting numbers are the bell tolling.
The race has barely started, but for Rudy Giuliani, trust me, it's over.