At some point, someone—probably an “independent” 527 group acting in support of one of the other candidates—is going to start passing out flyers with pictures of Giuliani in drag. You could argue that it takes a real man to be secure enough in his sexuality to put on a dress. But Rudy’s heterosexuality is not in question. The point won’t be to convince anyone that he’s gay, it will be to convince conservative white men that Rudy is too comfortable with gay people, and too comfortable having fun by playing around with sexual identity.
The flyers targeting Giuliani will probably say something about “New York values.” In other words, Rudy comes from a place populated with The Other, full of gays and Jews and blacks and who knows what else. That’s where he comes from, they’ll say, and that’s who he is—The Other. That attack will be devastating, and all the ads about 9/11 that the Giuliani campaign can buy will not enable him to recover.
Looking at Giuliani’s current standing in the polls, one might be tempted to think otherwise. But one must remember that no one has gone after him since that image was formed on 9/11. He hasn’t been criticized by prominent figures, he hasn’t been subject to attack ads, he hasn’t had smart and experienced political strategists plotting and executing a careful strategy to destroy him. But he will.
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