Now opening up double digit leads over former front-runner John McCain in many national polls of GOP presidential contenders for 2008, Rudy Giuliani seems poised for success. But Americas Mayor, arguably one of only two individuals to have benefited from the 9-11 attacks, has more than a few hurdles to overcome before he wins his Partys nomination.
Born the son of parents who were themselves children of Italian immigrants, Rudys start in life was none too impressive. Family members were involved in petty crime (including his father, who served a stretch in Sing Sing prison for robbery) and several had mob connections; Rudys father had difficulty keeping a job, and in his youth, the family divided its time between several New York boroughs and Long Island. Rudy himself is a thorough New Yorker, born and bred, a graduate successively of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Manhattan (1961), Manhattan College in The Bronx (1965), and Manhattans New York University School of Law (1968).
As did most Republican politicians, Giuliani opted out of the Vietnam War, in his case with a student deferment, and entered the US Attorneys Office in 1970, specializing initially in drug enforcement and corruption cases. In 1981 he joined the incoming Reagan administrations Justice Department as Associate Attorney General, Justices No. 3 man. In 1983 he was appointed US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It was in this highly visible position that Giulianis reputation as an effective prosecutor emerged. Despite his familys roots, he was ruthless on organized crime and drug trafficking, and prosecuted such high profile cases as the insider trading trials of Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken; the tax evasion trials of Marc Rich and Pincus Green; and the RICO Act racketeering trials of New Yorks famous Five Families, mobsters Genovese, Gambino, Colombo, Lucchese and Bonanno. Giulianis record of more than 4100 convictions with barely two dozen reversals is an impressive one, and formed the basis of his political ambition.
Giulianis involvement as a US Attorney ended with the Reagan Administrations demise in January of 1989, and coincided with an open mayoral race in New York City that year. Giuliani won the GOP nomination for that race, opposing Democrat David Dinkins for retiring Ed Kochs job. Dinkins won with a margin of barely 47,000 votes of nearly two million cast, the closest mayoral race in New Yorks history.
A second face-off between these contenders in 1993 saw Giuliani victorious against the perceived incompetence of incumbent Dinkins, and Giuliani became the first Republican elected mayor of New York City in almost three decades. His re-election in 1997 made him the first two-term Republican mayor since LaGuardia in 1941.
As mayor, Giuliani earned a reputation for being tough on crime and cracking down on the sex industry and such minor offenses as graffiti and subway turnstile jumping, as well as aggressive squeegeemen, to send a message that order would be maintained and New Yorkers would be forced to clean up their act. It is disputed whether these initiatives themselves were effective, or whether Giuliani merely benefited from a national trend already in progress as he took office, but the fact remains that New Yorks crime rate declined under both of Giulianis terms of office.
The Giuliani administration also pursued real estate development and urban renewal projects aggressively, most effectively with the Times Square development project, which completely changed the face of one of Manhattans most famous districts, from a sex and pornography-ridden battle zone into a prosperous, family-friendly tourist mecca. Critics assert that in the process, Giuliani also oversaw the transfer of large amounts of formerly public property, such as community gardens, into the hands of private developers.
Though tough on crime and popular with the New York business community, Giuliani is also culturally liberal, during his mayoral years coming out in support of the rights of illegal immigrants, same-sex domestic partnership rights, and in favor of gun control. Despite his Roman Catholic faith, he is pro-choice and did not support proposed bans on late-term abortions.
Married three times, Giulianis first union with Regina Peruggi was annulled in 1983 after 14 years on the grounds that they had recently discovered they were second cousins, and had not obtained the required dispensation prior to their marriage. In fact, Giuliani had also recently discovered New York TV personality Donna Hanover, who became his second spouse less than six months later. It is from this marriage that Giulianis children Andrew and Caroline stem.
But the Hanover marriage was a troubled one as well, with the couple maintaining separate residences and rarely appearing together, even at public functions, after 1996. Allegations of affairs with staffers emerged, followed by a May 2000 New York Post revelation of Giulianis involvement with pharmaceutical sales manager Judith Nathan, which was closely followed by His Honors press conference to announce a pending separation from Hanover. However, Giuliani had neglected to inform his wife of this decision prior to the public announcement, and the ensuing divorce became very ugly indeed. Although the papers were filed in October 2000, the case was not final until July of 2002, when Hanover received a reported $6.8 million and custody of the couples children. Giuliani married Judith Nathan in May 2003.
In 1998 when New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan announced his pending retirement at the expiration of his current term of office in 2000, Giuliani, hobbled by New York Citys mayoral term limits and unable to run again, expressed interest in filling the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat. He formed an exploratory committee in April 1999, and his initial popularity and polling success caused alarmed New York Party bosses to recruit a high profile contender for the Democratic side. US Representative Charles Rangel and others found their candidate in First Lady Hillary Clinton, who duly purchased property in Westchester County so she could qualify for the position. The emerging divorce scandal and concerns about Giulianis health with the disclosure of his prostate cancer prompted him to withdraw from the race in May 2000, before the Republican primary, though some speculated that Giuliani was put off by the prospect of a showdown with Clinton. Giuliani was replaced by Rick Lazio, who subsequently lost to Clinton by 12 points, so the proposed battle of the titans never took place, although it could conceivably be reprised in November 2008 on a national scale.
The nadir of Giulianis popularity came in late 2000, with an approval rating of only 36%. But the other shoe was about to drop, and within a year the outgoing mayor would find himself with an astonishing 79% approval rating, rivaling the 81% enjoyed by George W. Bush at the same time.
The other shoe in question, of course, was the September 11, 2001 attacks at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, which inexplicably did so much to revive the popularity of both politicians, although neither did anything to prevent the attacks or lessen their impact, and both have been severely criticized in the aftermath for the actions then taken.
Overnight, Giuliani was catapulted onto the national stage, the gritty, tough-talking, community-rallying savior of a city badly shaken by a grievous loss but no longer remotely in any danger. Taking full advantage of the notoriety the attacks gave to his position, Giuliani became a frequent sight on network television in the days and months immediately following the attacks, and his national profile grew exponentially. New Yorks mayoral primary had been scheduled for that very day, and was postponed two weeks to September 25. During this time, flying under the radar of his newly acquired national visibility, Giuliani lobbied for an emergency extension of his mayoral term by three months, to April 1, 2002, attempting to coerce both parties candidates into accepting this extension by threatening to challenge the citys term limits law and himself run for another full term if they opposed him. In the end, Giulianis extortion went unaccomplished and largely unnoted by a fawning media. The New York State Assembly and Senate denied his request, the election proceeded, and Giuliani was succeeded by Michael Bloomberg on January 1, 2002.
In late December, just before leaving office, Giuliani was named as Time Magazines Man of the Year for 2001, setting the capstone to his political apotheosis. Oprah Winfrey is popularly credited with conferring upon Giuliani his title of Americas Mayor at the 9-11 Memorial service at Yankee Stadium on September 23, 2001. Later Britains Queen Elizabeth II would confer upon him an honorary knighthood for his performance in that crisis.
Following his exit from Gracie Mansion, Giuliani emerged full-blown into the public sector with the founding of his security consulting firm, Giuliani Partners LLC in 2002, and Giuliani Capital Advisors LLC in 2004, an acquisitions and restructuring consulting firm which was sold to an Australian company in March 2007 for a reported $100 million. In March 2005 Giuliani joined the Texas-based law firm Bracewell & Patterson LLP (renamed Bracewell & Giuliani).
Giuliani toed the Party line in 2004, enthusiastically endorsing the re-election of George W. Bush, and sycophantically reminiscing in his Republican National Convention speech that September: Without really thinking, based on just emotion, spontaneous, I grabbed the arm of then-Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and I said to him, Bernie, thank God George Bush is our president. That same Bernie Kerik was Giulianis disastrous recommendation for head of the Homeland Security Department, whose nomination was ignominiously withdrawn just weeks after the Bush administration made it. It was one of the first national mis-steps that caused consternation over Giulianis judgment.
In 2006 Giuliani rejected offers to vie with Clinton over re-election to her Senate seat and to run to replace outgoing New York Governor George Pataki. He had set his sites much higher. In March of 2006 Giuliani was appointed to the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan commission empanelled to find a way out of the mess created by the Bush administration in the Mid-East. But that May, before its work began, Giuliani resigned, citing previous time commitments. Indeed, as a frequent visitor to early primary and caucus states, Giulianis time is certainly at a premium, and his vociferous support for the administrations handling of the Iraq debacle would have made his presence on the commission an awkward one.
Giuliani was the first Republican to announce the formation of a presidential exploratory committee, on 10 November 2006. His chief competition thus far is comprised of Arizona Senator John McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who both lag in national polling. Giulianis cut of the take in what Bill Clinton has prosaically termed the first primary, i.e., the first quarter fundraising totals for 2007, was $15 million, comparable to McCains $12.5 million but dwarfed by Romneys $23 million and Democratic rivals Clinton and Obama, at $26 and $25 million respectively.
Born 28 May 1944, Rudy Giulianis birth chart sports an interesting mix of galactic energies. Chief among these is the natal Sun, which at 7 Gemini (conjoined natal Uranus at 8 Gemini) is part of a Galactic Grand Cross of Deep Space anomalies, comprised of the Maser at 6 Gemini in conjunction, the Quasar at 5 Pisces in square, and the Black Holes at 6 Virgo and 5 Sagittarius in square and opposition.
The Sun conjoined a Maser is a marker of controversy and disruption, but it can also create a buzz about an individual, a sense of excitement. Democratic rival Barack Obamas Sun is also conjoined a Maser, and he has used this rock star energy to great effect. Masers are stellar remnants that regularly spew vast jets of matter into space from their cores; they are excitable, volatile in nature and can be debilitating in their effects, requiring periods of rest and retreat to regenerate. Giulianis more liberal positions on cultural issues are at variance with the mainstream of his Party, and have caused some controversy, as have his policies on crime and urban renewal in New York. It may be too much to say that Giulianis Sun/Maser conjunction acted as a type of lightning rod for the 9-11 attacks, but having him at the citys helm was a situation inclined to provoke some degree of volatility during his tenure in office.
The square to the Quasar from the Sun indicates a natural ability to network and attain success, and speaks to the large volume of convictions he amassed as a prosecutor, with the Quasars tendency to over-achieve. Giuliani was likely to stand out and shine in whatever profession he chose, and he is a natural leader whom others look to for direction. The Black Hole contacts underscore this ability to bring others into his sphere of influence, almost effortlessly, and to make a dramatic impact. They may also confer a strong desire for power and control, and a certain ruthlessness in attaining goals. There can be a steam-roller quality to these individuals, implacable and unyielding, as they progress toward the ends they envision.
Mercury at 12 Taurus fits snugly into a Grand Cross formed by squares to another Maser at 13 Leo and a Black Hole at 12 Aquarius, and an opposition to the Pulsar at 14 Scorpio. Mercury linked with both Maser and Black Hole energies is likely to be provocative in the extreme, and with these placements, the wonder is that Giuliani has not tripped over his tongue more than he has. This will be something to watch for as the campaign unfolds. Giuliani tends to speak bluntly and avoid the sort of incremental parsing of words and phrases which afflicts both Clintons. But Giulianis opinions, also Mercury-ruled, have certainly created controversy within the Republican Party, which he has accused of having a small tent mentality. It is probable that, if the Republican field was not populated by individuals as damaged as he himself is (McCain hampered by age, Romney by his Mormon faith and tendency to flip-flop on cultural issues), Giuliani would never make it past the conservative evangelical gatekeepers in the GOP primary. And he still may not.
Although free of speech himself, this combination of energies with Mercury may be seen in the way his mayoral administration was perceived as hobbling the press and others. Giuliani is the winner of three Muzzle awards given by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, as well as an unprecedented lifetime award. The Muzzles, as the name implies, are given to highlight abridgements of free speech, and in conferring them upon him, the organization stated that Giulianis administration had stifled speech and press to so unprecedented a degree, and in so many and varied forms, that simply keeping up with the citys censorious activity has proved a challenge for defenders of free expression.
The Pulsar opposition can be seen in Giulianis agile manipulation of the media, which also reflects the Black Holes need for control. During his mayoral tenure, Giuliani was noted for avoiding one-on-one press interviews, preferring either the more folksy style of radio call-in programs or the tendentious backdrop of press conferences from the steps of City Hall. While eschewing traditional media news outlets and formats, as mayor he hosted his own radio show and regularly appeared on late night TV, as well as doing guests spots as himself on several sit-coms and hosting Saturday Night Live.
Venus at 29 Aries is also enmeshed in a Galactic Grand Cross, conjoined the Black Hole at 26 Aries, squared a second Black Hole at 28 Cancer, and opposed a third at 28 Libra, while squared the Pulsar at 27 Capricorn. This is the source of the relationship instability for thrice-married Giuliani, as well as the tendency to pick the succeeding spouse before releasing the former one. The media- and information-related Pulsar guarantees that his relationship challenges and failures will become fodder for the news.
Venus connection with artistic expression also speaks to one of the more egregious spectacles of his administration, the battle with the Brooklyn Museum over exhibits which many considered blasphemous, particularly a depiction of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung. Giuliani threatened to cut off public funding (also a Venus issue) for the museum unless it withdrew the exhibit, and the ensuing legal fracas pitted the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights against the American Civil Liberties Union, and garnered national attention. The museums lawsuit alleging violation of First Amendment rights was successful, and Giuliani was ordered to restore funding. As a presidential candidate, the pecuniary attractive powers of this Black Hole Venus could prove effective in raising the huge sums of capital necessary to run a successful campaign.
Mars at 3 Leo and Pluto at 6 Leo both conjoin Black Holes and square another at 6 Scorpio. Giulianis obsession with New Yorks sex industry may stem from this combination, as Black Hole Mars reacts in one of two ways to sexual stimuli, typically becoming either excessively active and debauched or puritanical and completely rejecting of natural sexual urges. The irregularity of his personal life and the focus on commercial sex suggest that for Giuliani, it may be a bit of both. Pluto combined with Mars reinforces this tendency, and further indicates that the prospect of unlimited, raw power holds a strong attraction.
Saturn at 27 Gemini conjoins the Quasar at 26 and opposes the supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius. This indicates a highly successful career in an executive capacity, a prominent place in the world (both Quasar), and the likelihood of attaining global recognition (the GC). It could well signify a successful bid for the presidency, although as mayor of the nations largest city during the worst terrorist attack on US soil, Giuliani already has an international public profile which may have satisfied the potential in that combination. The total solar eclipse of March 3 at 28 Pisces set off this Saturn by square, and it was in that month alone that Giuliani raised $10 million of his $15 million quarterly total, and cemented his lead over McCain in the polls.
Only two planets in the nativity form exact conjunctions with Black HolesChiron at 9 Virgo and Neptune at 1 Libra. This suggests a complex dichotomy in Giulianis psychological make up. Both planets have overtones of the Savior archetype, both suggest an ability to put oneself in someone elses shoes and an affinity for empathybut both have serious Achilles heel qualities as well.
Chirons maverick nature and difficulty toeing the line of societal expectation is clear in Giulianis atypical stances on cultural issues and support for a variety of minority rights, so at variance with standard GOP rhetoric and practice. Neptunes ability to reflect others projections can be seen in the way Giulianis persona was initially enhanced by his leadership in the aftermath of 9-11, when he was elevated to an almost semi-divine status. But Neptune also represents disillusionment or disappointment, and has an inherent ability to deceive or misdirect; its call for union can manifest as cooperative organization for the common good, or absorption as a faceless entity in the collective.
With transit Pluto currently opposing Giulianis natal Saturn, and trine his North Node, the future looks cautiously optimistic. Plutos augmentation of power could come in the form of executive office, and the North Node trine suggests an ease in realizing his destiny. The fly in the ointment may be Plutos station on the Pulsar at 28 Sagittarius, which represents the Media, and their ability to unearth any secrets, scandals or skeletons that may be rattling around the Giuliani closets. This station will be repeated in the early autumn of 2008, just before the next general election, but the better part of his fate will be decided well before then, in the primary season. If he wins through to the nomination, he could be a force to be reckoned with.