Rudy Giuliani interrupted a major cellphone call from his wife, Judith, in New York last week to deliver a speech outlining his foreign policy to the Council on Foreign Relations, leaving her puzzled and annoyed. The former New York City mayor was right in the middle of the call, promising to pick up some hot dog buns and nonfat vanilla yogurt on his way home, when he said, “Oops, excuse me, dear, I think there’s a large number of people sitting in front of me and they seem to want me to say something, it’ll only take a minute.”
Giuliani then quickly summed up his approach to foreign policy for the crowd, carefully distancing himself from the Bush Administration’s policies while not openly breaking with them by declaring, “I can invade a lot more countries and bomb a lot more of their people than than President Bush could and I can authorize the torture of a lot more prisoners than he did and I can employ more frothing neocon whackjobs than Bush and Cheney combined. And I pledge to you here tonight that if foreign leaders want to criticize me for that, well, they are just going to have to wait a second while I take a phone call from my wife.”
After these brief remarks he quickly returned to his cellphone and apologized profusely to Judith for the rude interruption, remarking, “Sweetie-pie, I’m really sorry, I had to take that speech, please don’t be mad, it’ll never happen again…Yes, I promise.”
It turns out, however, that this wasn’t the first time Giuliani interrupted an important phone conversation with his wife to give a speech. In early September he was in the middle of a long call outlining his position on the dripping showerhead in the bathroom when he suddenly broke off to deliver an address to the Council of Former Giuliani Wives and Their Dependents and Lawyers, an organization with roughly 1,500 members headquartered on Park Avenue in Manhattan, not far from the Council on Foreign Relations. He startled that audience, however, when he interrupted his belligerent remarks in order to take a cellphone call from his foreign policy adviser Norman Podhoretz, who was urging him to declare “World War VI” on Kyrgyzstan (Podhoretz considers his recent fight with a Chinese waiter over an order of Shredded Pork with Spicy Garlic Sauce to be World War V).
Giuliani’s campaign slogan–“As I Was Saying, You Have My Undivided Attention”–seems to be playing well with voters in the more remote rural areas of Iowa and New Hampshire, where erratic cellphone service has so far prevented him from taking any calls.