He was a mixed-race child born into a family of — at best — modest means. His father departed from his life — essentially, for good — when he was a toddler. His mother had a second marriage that failed, and his grandparents often had to pick up the slack in child-rearing.
Given that background, most folks probably would say Barack Obama — graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, former U.S. senator and now president of the world’s most powerful nation — did OK by himself.
Not so Rudy Giuliani.
The former New York mayor today referred to Obama as “a person of no accomplishment,” according to the Associated Press.
“What do we want to elect, an unsuccessful person?” Giuliani asked, serving as a surrogate in Las Vegas for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. ”We tried that, OK, we tried a person of no accomplishment,” he continued. “Now let’s try something different, let’s try a man who has actually been successful in life.”
Rudy hasn’t done badly for a working-class kid from Brooklyn, either. His resume includes two terms as the chief executive of the city that never sleeps.
Still, he wouldn’t want to hold up his track record as a presidential contender with the fellow he so cavalierly dismissed today. Giuliani’s quest for the 2008 Republican nomination ended before the year’s first month was over, without even coming close to a caucus or primary win.
His failed quest — which hinged heavily on the acclaim he won for his handling of the horrific Sept. 11 attack on his hometown — did generate one of the more memorable political putdowns.
Democrat Joe Biden, as he futilely pursued his own presidential dreams before Obama tapped him as his running mate, had this to say about Giuliani and his platform in October 2007: ”There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun, a verb and 9/11.”