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Rusted Rudy


“IN THE plaintiffs’ counties, they were denied the opportunity to have an unobstructed observation and ensure opacity,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I’m not quite sure I know what opacity means. It probably means you can see, right?”

“It means you can’t,” said U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann.

So blundered Rudy Giuliani in a Pennsylvania court as he tried to make the case that President Donald Trump was robbed of re-election.

Over the next few hours [Giuliani] fiddled with his Twitter account, forgot which judge he was talking to and threw around wild, unsupported accusations about a nationwide conspiracy by Democrats to steal the election, reported the UKs Evening Standard on Nov. 18.

Rusty the paper called Rudy, the hard-nosed federal prosecutor who made a name for himself going after New York mobsters in the 1980s absent from court as an attorney since 1992.

Rusted is more like it, from where I sit, given that steely determination, of that solid character that Mayor Giuliani impacted the whole world with in resurrecting his New York City from the utter devastation of the 9/11 attacks.

That solid leadership in the worst of crises made of Giuliani a presidential timber. As he, indeed, made his bid for the Republican nomination: starting off with a significant lead in the national polls but cutting his run short in Jan. 2008 when he finished third in the Florida primary to eventual nominee John McCain.

Still, the adulation of Giuliani remained high worldwide. Heres something I wrote here in Aug2008 of that high-priced speaking engagement he did in Manila.

Leadership crisis

WHY PAY P22,000 per seat when we have plenty of heroes here, leaders that are tried and tested in crisis?” asked Senator Richard Gordon, finding incredulous the high cost of hearing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speak in person.

Giuliani was speaker in a forum dubbed “Leadership in Times of Crisis” at the Makati Shangri-la Tuesday where a table for 12 cost P242,000, a “priority table” near the stage, P300,000 and the last two rows the P22,000-seat.

The erudite Gordon has a point. We have a surfeit of tried and tested leaders like himself, like City of San Fernando Mayor Oscar Rodriguez – to name just two – whose characters were forged through the crucible of crises, not the least of which was the Mount Pinatubo catastrophe.

A nation in perpetual crisis, both natural and man-made, the Philippines is the perfect laboratory for “Leadership in Times of Crisis.”

So, why the need for Rudy the Rock – the moniker he got for presiding over the rise of New York City from the devastation of 9/11 – to tell us what it’s all about?

Blame the persistence in our collective memory of the superiority of the White Big Brother in knowing what is best for us little brown ‘uns. Ah, the indelibility of our colonial mentality. After all these years of our proclaimed independence, the 300 years of Spanish colonialism and more than 50 years of American imperialism are still well ensconced in the Filipino psyche.

Especially among our ilustrados who find P22,000 a seat – take-home pay for the day of some 50 wage earners – loose change vis-à-vis the great opportunity offered only to the chosen few to rub elbows with Giuliani. It was all image, not message that they paid for.

What Giuliani spoke about was the least that mattered to these ilustrados. Leadership manuals from the Harvard Business School, and those culled from the experiences of business and political leaders have certainly more substance than Giuliani’s talk.

Even if one wanted pure Giuliani leadership, he need not fork over P22,000 just to get something from him.

Saturday before Giuliani’s expensive peroration, I was rummaging through the stacks of books at Booksale in Robinsons Starmills. Guess what I found – Leadership by Rudolph W. Giuliani, talk miramax books, published 2002 by Hyperion, New York.

Giuliani’s talk at the Makati forum centered on his “Six Pillars” of leadership. The book had not only six but 14 great columns that provide the base of support to leadership, which comprised the very titles of the chapters.

So self-explanatory, a simple scan of the table of contents would make the reader readily understand what the book was all about.

In my case, there was automatic cross-checking of Giuliani’s precepts with some similar, as well as dissimilar ones, from other books on leadership, including The Art of War, Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, The 48 Steps to Power, Certain Trumpets, and The Heart of a Leader to name but a few.

And some introspection too: I put the faces of local leaders either as the theses or antitheses to Giuliani’s chapter titles.

Like Mabalacat Mayor Boking Morales as a testament to Weddings Discretionary, Funerals Mandatory. No, this has nothing to do with the five-term mayor’s marital state but everything with his self-imposed obligation to attend the wakes and funerals of his constituents.

Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao makes a paladin for First Things First and Prepare Relentlessly be it in his coaching job in the PBA or in going about his work at the capitol, especially when at odds with the Governor.

Ah, the Governor. Notwithstanding the accolades from the ilustrados’ Ateneo de Manila and the inquisitorial Inquirer, Eddie Panlilio makes the antithetical representation for the chapters, to wit:
Surround Yourself With Great People, he being surrounded by only one, and not even near-great, at that.

Everyone Accountable, All of the Time, exempting himself as he lays the blame on others for any failure of his administration.

Reflect, Then Decide, kneejerk urges and surges were those insipid memos of “caretaker administration,” “blanket authority,” and the non-confirmation, to name just three.

Be Your Own Man, so, ain’t the Governor unbecomed by a woman?

Loyalty: The Vital Virtue, so why are his campaign supporters Madame Lolita Hizon and family, Rene Romero and fellow businessmen now saying those nasty things about his (mal)administration? So what do you make of the constant comings and goings of staff at the Governor’s Office?

Underpromise and Overdeliver, he promised to take the concerns of the poor to the Capitol, he delivered the desperate charity-seekers to the fund-challenged provincial board.

For the rest of the chapters – Develop and Communicate Strong Beliefs; Stand Up to Bullies; Study. Read. Learn Independently; Organize Around a Purpose; Bribe Only Those Who Will Stay Bribed – make your own opinion.

This much, and more, I got from Giuliani without having to attend that Makati forum and scrape my knees for P22,000. The cover price of his book? US$25.95. I got it for a measly P120.00, jacketed and hardcover.

As an aside now, maybe I may have been hasty in dismissing Giuliani’s talk about “Leadership in Times of Crisis,” believing that Filipinos can do a lot better.

I guess the subject I had in mind was “Times of Crisis in Leadership.”

COME TO THINK of it now. With the pandemic of crises devastating the land, is it just me seeing Rusted Rudy all-too-easily segueing to Randy Rody?


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