Giuliani Meltdown

Rudy's having a rough go of it the last week or two.

Among Giuliani's woes:

_Giuliani's South Carolina chairman, state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, was indicted on federal cocaine charges last week and stepped down from Giuliani's campaign. Ravenel's 80-year-old father, Arthur, remains regional chairman for the southeastern part of the state.

_Giuliani drew criticism last week for failing to attend official meetings of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel that unanimously called for gradual troop reductions in Iraq. Giuliani said he quit the panel after two months because it didn't seem that he could keep it focused on "a bipartisan, nonpolitical resolution." However, Newsday reported that instead of attending two meetings, Giuliani was at paid speaking engagements.

_New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was elected in 2001 with Giuliani's support, last week switched from Republican to unaffiliated, clearing the way for a possible independent presidential bid.

_Victims' advocates called on Giuliani to fire Monsignor Alan Placa, a Catholic priest suspended from the church over abuse allegations, from Giuliani's security consulting firm. A Giuliani spokeswoman said last week that the company has no plans to fire Placa, a childhood friend of Giuliani's.

_Former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christie Todd Whitman said New York City, under then-mayor Giuliani, was repeatedly told that Sept. 11 emergency workers on the debris pile should wear respirators to protect their lungs. Whitman testified Monday on Capitol Hill. Giuliani's campaign responded that all ground zero workers were repeatedly told to wear respirators.

The Village Voice also has a very interesting article about Rudy's Catholic faith, or lack thereof. Despite all this, I wouldn't count him out of the race yet. Bill Clinton had far worse thrown at him in 1992 and we still had to live with him for the next eight years. A lot can change between now and the primaries.

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