Don't get me wrong -- it's a fabulous record. Rudy Giuliani will come home to a New York that is now the most glamorous city in America, and largely because of what Rudy Giuliani did as mayor. "He's the only politician who's ever done anything for me," a close friend and fellow survivor of the 1980s put it.
Those of us who lived through the grime, the garbage, the squeegee guys and the fear of the pre-Rudy era in New York have every reason to be profoundly grateful for Rudy's record -- but why should the good folks of New Hampshire, or Michigan or Florida be expected to care? What has he ever done for them? Rudy's whole campaign was based on the theme of "leadership," but because of his decision to run as a quasi-incumbent, he ended up oddly backward-sounding, returning repeatedly to his great triumphs such as welfare reform and crime.
The voters have moved on.
And so Rudy goes home, but with this consolation: He goes home to the glittering city on a hill he personally helped rebuild.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.