We just can’t take it anymore – either this deification of former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani has got to stop or someone needs to explain it to us. Maybe it was the 500th magazine cover; maybe it was seeing his spot during the Super Bowl – but something has driven us over the edge. Faithful readers, tell us if this man is really the second coming of Winston Churchill.

When Time magazine named him their 2001 person of the year, this is what they said: “He is a hero to many, an icon of steadfastness in the midst of chaos. For his surprisingly subtle touch, for his very real tears and for reluctantly taking center stage, Mayor Rudy Guiliani is Time Magazine’s person of the Year.”

Pardon our cynicism, but we have to laugh – “reluctantly taking center stage”? They must be joking – no person runs for Mayor of the world’s media capitol because they don’t want the limelight. And this is the man who prosecuted Michael Milliken in order to get to center stage. The mayor rushed to the site of the attacks precisely because, like all good politicians, he loves being the center of attention.

We have nothing against Mr. Guiliani – in fact, we would have voted for him, if given the chance. He deserves great credit for cleaning up New York City, and making it a much safer and more livable place. As a leader and politician following the terrorist attacks, he did a very good job; he worked hard, was calm and optimistic. But he wasn’t one of the firemen who rushed into a burning building to save lives; unlike Winston Churchill, he did not provide stirring oratory to a city that was under real, constant attack.

Is it really so hard to be your best self when the lights are shining and the whole world is watching? Or is America just so desperate for a hero that, in times of trouble, any leader who has some class and dignity is elevated to sainthood? Or is it because most of America’s media is based in Manhattan, and when the going gets tough their pseudo sophistication instantly melts into hero worship of the most convenient icon? Please use the Rageback to set us straight.

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