June 14, 2007 Thursday
SHOW: THE SITUATION ROOM 5:00 PM EST
Extra Income: Senators Disclose Dollars; A Giuliani Presidency; Pentagon's Progress Report on Iraq
BYLINE: Wolf Blitzer, Brian Todd, Mary Snow, Frank Sesno, Jamie McIntyre, Abbi Tatton, Jack Cafferty, Ben Wedeman, Karl Penhaul, Brent Sadler, Jack Cafferty, Carol Costello
GUESTS: Dennis Ross
SECTION: NEWS; International
LENGTH: 6718 words
HIGHLIGHT: There are some surprises regarding how lawmakers make money outside their day jobs. A look at a Giuliani presidency. The Pentagon is putting the best face on its latest progress report on Iraq. Ruth Graham, Billy Graham's wife, dies at the age of 87. Wedeman reports the latest on the situation in the West Bank and Gaza, where there continues to be intense fighting between Palestinians. Penhaul describes the reaction in Iraq to the being of a mosque in Samarra yesterday.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Thank you, Jack.
And to our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM. […]
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was hailed as a hero and a leader after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center towers in 2001. Today he's a rather unconventional candidate seeking the presidency. So, what if Giuliani were actually to win?
Our special correspondent Frank Sesno is joining us with more on this, our weekly "What If?" segment.
FRANK SESNO, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: All right.
What if one of these people on the wall were to, you know, be the president? Who would it be? And who is it? Can you tell?
BLITZER: Who would be the president? You mean Nancy Pelosi?
SESNO: No, Nancy Pelosi's not running for office.
BLITZER: All right.
Oh, the woman in the drag.
SESNO: The woman in the drag.
SESNO: Rudy Giuliani.
BLITZER: That's correct, yes.
SESNO: That's right. One of a kind.
SESNO (voice over): What if New York's last mayor becomes America's next president? He'd be the first mayor ever to go from here to here. He'd be the first Republican who favors abortion rights, domestic partnerships and gun control. The first Catholic, twice-divorced Republican to make it to the Oval Office.
That's a lot of firsts.
You can bet he'd be tough on crime, taxes and spending. He was in New York. Made the city safer, cleaned up the streets, famously filled potholes himself. "Gotham's Action Hero" "The New York Times" once called him. But he ticked off a lot of people, too, was accused of being imperious, a dictator in mayor's clothes who ruthlessly pushed out the homeless and aggravated racial tensions.
What if he were president? If past is prologue, he would be pro- business, pro-military, but he'd butt heads with Congress, interest groups and conservatives who already distrust him.
What if the man who lived 9/11 so up close and personal became president? Well, for him, it's still personal. The country is weary and warn, but he would continue the offensive against terrorism in Iraq and around the world, he says.
What if this man becomes president? Would he still dress in drag, hang out with Donald Trump? Washington would finally have a surplus of personality at least.
RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This may be the best of all.
SESNO: There would be so much material, the gossip columnists might move to D.C. After all, Giuliani had a nasty divorce from wife number two, is estranged from his kids, and has said his third and current wife, Judith, is his closest adviser and can sit in on cabinet meetings if she wants.
What if it wins? It would be a decidedly New York state of mind.
SESNO: A New York state of mind right here in Washington, D.C.
But before he becomes president, he has got to get through the Republican primary. So how is he doing in some key states?
Well, we were tracking this. First, in Iowa, you see that Giuliani is in second place. He's up a little bit over recent times.
In New Hampshire -- New Hampshire a critical state, obviously -- New Hampshire is tied for second. Giuliani, he's down a little bit.
And finally, South Carolina. A little taste of the South there in South Carolina. In South Carolina, Giuliani, as you can see there, about steady, also in second place.
So no breakthrough yet, but he ain't done.
BLITZER: But, I mean, his personality has always been almost front and center in his political career.
SESNO: Yes, it really has. It's fascinating.
After 9/11 -- this is I think the key to Giuliani post-9/11 -- he was able to display emotion without being emotional. And through projection of that personality, really be in charge. And see how he earned many of the accolades at that time. But, you know, people have been tracking his personality since he was mayor. I went back and I found this fascinating piece that was published in the "New York Observer," and it was the result of a work -- an academic did, a guy by the name of Aubrey Immelman. He's at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics.
Here's what he wrote. He wrote that, "Giuliani is a primarily dominant personality, with secondary features of conscientiousness and suspiciousness," what he called a "hostile enforcer." "Rudy Giuliani, the hostile enforcer, tends to act as though they believe they have a monopoly on divining right and wrong, good and bad."
So what if that personality comes to Washington?
BLITZER: Well, I know there are a lot of New Yorkers who thought he did a great job when he was mayor of New York.
SESNO: He cleaned up streets, he did those things. But he really was, you know, top of the heap, and he acted it.
BLITZER: All right.
Frank, thanks very much.
SESNO: Wolf, it's a pleasure.
BLITZER: Frank Sesno, Brian Todd, Mary Snow, they are all part of the best political team on television.