For the next issue of @NYMag, I profiled Andrew Giuliani, who is trying to run for governor of New York.
Nobody knows why he’s doing that.
Including Andrew Giuliani. https://t.co/F71D8EuQ0o
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) June 17, 2021
For entertainment purposes, and as an example of the fact that Olivia Nuzzi is an equal-opportunity reputation assassin:
Andrew Giuliani was holding a silver spoon. He just was. There’s no getting around it. Sitting in a booth at Mansion Diner on 86th and York — about a thousand feet from each of the two homes in which he was raised: his mother’s apartment and Gracie Mansion — he poured a thimble-size packet of Farmland whole milk into his third cup of coffee and used the symbolically charged but otherwise ordinary instrument to stir. “New York means something to everybody,” he said. “It evokes a reaction.”
Ten days earlier, the Son of Rudy had announced his campaign for governor on the grounds that New York needs a Giuliani restoration to recover from the other dynastic Andrew — and that he can achieve it by scaling his father’s blueprint for the city of the ’90s to address the needs of the entire state in the ’20s. “I think the name Giuliani evokes a reaction in most people, too,” he said…
… A country may not be the sum of whom it elects, but a party is no more or less than its nominees — making Giuliani’s run a test of what “unqualified” means to the Republican electorate now. Giuliani, who is 35 years old, spent his early childhood on the Upper East Side, attended prep school in a tony Jersey suburb and college in North Carolina. Fully a third of his official campaign biography is devoted to his good grades at Duke (where he majored in sociology), a few internships in finance and real estate, his time as a “surrogate relations” volunteer on the Trump campaign, and his marriage. He cites as qualifying work experience his stint as a professional golfer; the four years he spent in the Trump administration, where he served in the Office of Public Liaison and as a special assistant to the president; and the seven weeks he was professionally a pundit on Newsmax, a network for people who think Fox News is too moderate, before he quit to join the gubernatorial race….
Like many villains and politicians, Giuliani has a vaguely unsettling quality. His hair and skin are a similar shade of muted strawberry blonde. He looks like Rudy only when he smiles, and he sounds like him only when he yells. He talks in cliché. “In this day and age, politics is front and center,” he told me. When he charms, it’s often premeditated. Upon his announcement, he was roasted for saying he’d “spent parts of five different decades of my life” in politics (reminder: He is 35), but the remark was part of a Buddy Hackett–style shtick he’s developed for public settings. He tried some of it out at Mansion Diner. “Career politicians are generally not my favorite,” he said. Beat. “I’m worse.” Beat. “I’m a politician out of the womb.” Beat. “I get up in the morning and I try to wash the filth off of me.” Beat. “And it’s still on!”…
Hating on some clueless trust fund jackass for having the gall to suggest he should be making decisions for others on a scale larger than a bachelor party is an exercise that often transcends partisan ideology. When a son of privilege seeks political power, it often seems that entitlement offense rages brightly in the moments just before private acceptance or approval kicks in: Parts of the population are reminded on a psychic or genetic level that they yearn for monarchy, while other parts decide they like the comfort of continuity under the guise of a democracy. The other form of entitlement, maybe a bit less galling, is assuming a right to patience and attention, to the willingness of a public to serve as an audience before which to work out familial psychological trauma. When I sat down with Andrew, it was the eve of Mercury’s retrograde and, he noted, his father’s 77th birthday (a Gemini, of course).
“There’s pain and daddy issues that exist beneath this,” one longtime Rudy associate said. A second longtime Rudy associate was gentler: “What Andrew is doing is less about Rudy than it is about what Andrew is doing to process Rudy.” There is something uncomfortable about Giuliani’s campaign. If you watch him for long enough to ask what might compel a person to do a thing like this, you get the sense that the act of running is one of self-harm, of lashing himself in the void left by his father. Is he out to prove something to Rudy or to show him — show us — what being Rudy’s son has done to him? Does he subconsciously want to hurt Rudy? You can’t tarnish a legacy that’s already been shattered, then lit on fire, then burned to a heap of ash, then sprinkled into the swamp and dissolved into a toxic vapor. Or can you?…