Dear Commons Community,
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani use to draw cheers at Yankee Stadium especially immediately September 11, 2001 but no more. On Monday, boos cascaded from the stands, on the announcement of his 74th birthday and reflected how far Mr. Giuliani and the city he once led have drifted apart. Here is a brief recap courtesy of the New York Times:
“For those old enough to remember, Mr. Giuliani once embodied a kind of holy trinity of grief, resurrection and baseball after Sept. 11, 2001. He could often be seen in his matching Yankees jacket and cap as the World Series-bound team lifted a wounded city after the terrorist attack.
Long before that, Mr. Giuliani credited his Yankees fandom with giving him strength of character from a young age: He said he had to stand up to jeers from Brooklyn Dodgers fans in his Brooklyn neighborhood.
…He celebrated Yankees victories at City Hall, his own image blown up banner-size to hang next to those of the players and coaches. The Times, during the 2000 Subway Series with the Mets, described Mr. Giuliani as the team’s mascot, akin to Mr. Met: “The mascot for the Yankees wears a Yankees warm-up jacket and has a somewhat smaller head; his name is Mister Giuliani.”
He has bejeweled championship rings from the Yankees’ run of World Series wins during his term, prized possessions that brought scrutiny during his failed 2008 presidential bid. He worked on paving the way for a new stadium in the Bronx, negotiating into the waning days of his second and final term.
At Monday’s game, Mr. Giuliani was given a cake by Randy L. Levine, who was Mr. Giuliani’s deputy mayor for economic development and is now the president of the Yankees. “‘Happy Birthday Rudy,’” he recalled it saying. “I think it was chocolate.”
Mr. Levine told his former boss that his name would be mentioned midgame along with other fans celebrating birthdays.
“He didn’t ask for it,” Mr. Levine said.
Then came the boos.
Mr. Giuliani, who was with friends and family, apparently laughed it off.
Mr. Giuliani did not respond to a request for an interview, but told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that he was not upset. “I know Yankee fans; they boo you when they love you,” a Fox News producer quoted him as saying.
But for younger fans, New York City is a different place from what it was when Mr. Giuliani took charge, promising to rein in lawlessness. Crime, now at historically low levels, is for many New Yorkers an afterthought.
Many residents of the majority-minority city are more likely to associate Mr. Giuliani with police brutality than with his law-and-order bona fides. The New York Police Department is now trying to put the excesses of that period behind it.
“He’s racist,” said Henry Williams, 61, a Bronx man who cleans up at Stan’s Sports Bar across the street from Yankee Stadium. “I’m still out here struggling.”
Mr. Giuliani has certainly changed over time. His marriage to Judi Nathan — his frequent companion at games — is ending; his good will here after Sept. 11 has dwindled.
Indeed, Monday was certainly not the first time Mr. Giuliani was booed by Yankees fans: He was similarly greeted in 2007 during his Republican presidential primary run when his image appeared on the big stadium screen.
But in his role as President Trump’s defender, Mr. Giuliani may have pulled the last straw.”
In my opinion, Giuliani’s association with Donald Trump is toxic here in New York City.