The Betrayal of Marriage
As this article goes to print, it is as yet unclear whether Mayor Rudy Giuliani will withdraw from the New York Senate race. I believe he should—and not merely for health reasons. Given the events of the past weeks, it is the only honorable thing to do. I say this as a person who has admired Mr. Giuliani and considers his accomplishments as mayor of New York City to be among the most impressive governing achievements of modern times.Yeah, watching the police murder innocent people,violating the first Amendment, Bush before he was Bush
It is worth briefly recapitulating here what has occurred. Just over two weeks ago, Mr. Giuliani all but conceded that he was having an affair with Judith Nathan, a woman he has been squiring about town and whom he calls his “very good friend.” Then, on May 10, Mr. Giuliani announced at a press conference that he was seeking a separation from his wife, Donna Hanover—without first informing her of his decision. Mr. Giuliani went out of his way to praise his mistress as a “very, very fine woman,” and said about his marriage with Ms. Hanover: “Over the course of some period of time in many ways, we’ve grown to live independent and separate lives.”Well, not quite. He was on his second obvious affair with a woman while in City Hall. If they were living seperate lives, no one told his wife. She just found that out on TV like everyone else.
The mayor’s assertion was contradicted three hours later by his emotionally distraught wife, who said, “I had hoped that we could keep this marriage together. For several years, it was difficult to participate in Rudy’s public life because of his relationship with one staff member.” Ms. Hanover was referring to Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas, the mayor’s former communications director. The mayor and Ms. Lategano-Nicholas denied those allegations in the past, and continue to deny them now.
Yeah, but she did get that $250K job she still has as director of the city's tourist and visitor's bureau, one she was vastly unqualified for. But then, if Hanover hadn't caught him dick deep in Lategano on a father's day in City Hall, according to some widely circulated reports, she might have never had to been paid off
Even if Ms. Hanover’s account is not fully accurate, we know that Mr. Giuliani, the married father of two children, ages 14 and 10, is engaged in a very public, intimate relationship with another woman. This is troubling in itself. And if Ms. Hanover’s account is to be believed, we have a situation in which the mayor had an adulterous relationship with a staff member, lied about it, agreed to his wife’s efforts at reconciliation, only to leave her for yet another woman. This would be more serious still.Public? Well, if you call going for a stroll on Mother's Day weekend with your new mistress along with a bunch of reporters public, yeah, I guess that counts. He would also take his mistress to a local bar, smoking cigars while his childrens friends and their parents strolled by. Lovely Mother's Day photos with Giuliani and his mistress.
Regardless of whose account you believe, Mr. Giuliani has publicly humiliated his wife, grievously hurt his children and behaved dishonorably. These acts, in my judgment, are why Mr. Giuliani should withdraw from the Senate race.
Public & Private Morality?
This incident once again raises the question of whether, and in what circumstances, a public official’s “private life”—and more specifically, his sexual conduct—is relevant to his public life. I have long argued that what matters are facts, circumstances and context, as well as principles. For example, past indiscretion, followed by an authentic change in ways and reconciliation with a wife, is vastly different from serial adultery while in office.
Was the affair marked by compulsiveness, carelessness and cruelty? Was there exploitation based on age and status? Did the affair involve a staff member? Did the person know his personal life would come under scrutiny and still decide to run the risk of an affair? These are factors to consider and weigh. We can’t have what many wish for: a manual on how to treat the almost endless array of scenarios. Reasoned moral judgments depend on the application of general principles to particular facts.Hmmm, or just side trips to Vegas for a little chastisement?
Adultery, in short, ought not automatically disqualify a person from seeking elected office. But in some circumstances infidelity ought to be the subject of public concern. Infidelity often can reveal something important about a person’s character and judgment, his trustworthiness and prudence.Yeah, unless we're talking about Bill Clinton
For those who think the standard I am applying to Mr. Giuliani is harsh, puritanical and atavistic, it is worth pointing out that this is precisely the public standard that applied in those ancient days of yore—1987. In that year, Gary Hart withdrew from the Democratic primary because of his relationship with Donna Rice. “Through thoughtlessness and misjudgment I’ve let each of you down,” Mr. Hart told his staff. “And I deeply regret that.” By saying what he said, and by withdrawing from the race, Mr. Hart (to his credit) affirmed an important public standard. At that time, it was widely agreed he should pull out of the race. According to Bill Clinton’s biographer, David Maraniss, even he ultimately agreed that Mr. Hart was right to
Because he was caught in a lie after challenging the press to follow him around
Some Clinton acolytes like James Carville have attempted to compare the Giuliani affair to the Clinton scandal and accused Republicans of hypocrisy for condemning Mr. Clinton while not speaking out against Mr. Giuliani. Surely this much is true: Members of both parties ought to be more consistent in their application of moral standards.
But it must be said that while what Mr. Giuliani did was loutish, the mayor has not been cited for contempt of court, as has Mr. Clinton. Nor has Mr. Giuliani lied under oath in a civil deposition, provided false and misleading testimony to a grand jury, obstructed justice, or sent his aides to spread lies about, and destroy, the reputations of women with whom he is alleged to have had affairs. Nor has he agreed to pay more than three-quarters of a million dollars to a woman in return for her dropping a sexual harassment lawsuit. Nor has Mr. Giuliani been credibly accused of rape. So there are crucial differences between the two. Mr. Giuliani is no gentleman—but neither is he Bill Clinton.Oh, were this so. No, Giuliani isn't accused of any of that. He did use city money to pay off one mistress, after firing a loyalist to do so, fired his wife's chief aide, then pulled her security, endangering his children, then illegally assigned police security to his own mistress. He then marched into court demanding that his mistress be allowed to visit him in the family home. On every level, Giuliani's behavior towards his own family was beastial