Being a politician isn't easy at the best of times. The public is eternally ungrateful for your past service and suspicious of your current motives. Your opponents make up the most outrageous, though plausible, lies about you. And ferret-nosed reporters are constantly trying to sniff out your minor indiscretions. Fail to express your outrage at an ethnic joke told in your presence, accept the smallest gratuity from a friendly citizen, gain sexual union with an unauthorized orifice -- and the news ferrets will have your guts for garters by 6 p.m. No, a politician's life is not a happy one. But it is even tougher when the politician is achingly stupid. Consider Republican New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. According to the New York Post, Mayor Bloomberg has told the magazine Vanity Fair that the policies of New York's former mayor were racist, and, he implied, his predecessor's inaction resulted in mass murder. Even for hardened politicians, those are pretty mean accusations.
Apparently, Bloomberg was applying the age-old technique of trying to make himself look bigger by making his predecessor look smaller. But that is a tall order for the diminutive Bloomberg, as his predecessor is the current Paul Bunyan of American political mythology -- Rudy Giuliani. While mayor, Rudy had turned the streets of New York from a war zone of criminality, garbage and publicly displayed sexual depravity into something pretty close to Disneyland's Main Street. By the time Rudy left office, delicate virgins could walk down Broadway at midnight and return home untouched and unoffended. But all that was accomplished, according to the inexplicable Bloomberg, because for Giuliani, "every single decision, everybody, every story, everything was always couched in terms of race."
Bloomberg -- who would appear to be a candidate for examination by the master for lunacy -- went on to brag that his management style was the opposite of the fabulously successful Giuliani's: "He made all the decisions ... particularly when it came to police and fire. Rudy wanted to be the police commissioner. Rudy wanted to be the fire commissioner. He rushed to fires. My attitude is, my job is to pick people and let them do it." Common sense would suggest that if you recognize that you are not up to taking over the management of the best-run big city in the world, you wouldn't brag about your lack of energy, focus, interest, knowledge, commitment and general capacity.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.