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Giuliani taken to task

September 14, 2007 | 11:48 am

Rudy Giuliani has been on the offensive, blasting Hillary Clinton (the only Democrat he thinks really matters?) for not repudiating the controversial ad that attacked Gen. David Petraeus as a prelude to the commander's much-anticipated congressional testimony on Iraq. Giuliani is planning his own ad, as we reported here early this morning.

Earlier in the week, however, Giuliani's penchant for imitating Marlon Brando imitating a Mafia don earned him a scolding of his own.

Rosario A. Iaconis, the leader of an Italian-American organization, declared in a commentary published in Newsday that Giuliani "is in danger of becoming persona non grata within his own ethnicity." He asserted that the former New York mayor and Brooklyn native has "turned his back on his Italian roots" and that he "plays the dumbed-down-Italian card with gusto."

Iaconis plaintively asked: "Why can't Giuliani speak of his Italian origins, and of America's debt to his noble ancestors in the Roman republic that is the basis of our own? Or of Caesar Augustus' pax romana, an unparalleled 200-year period of peace and prosperity?"

Now that would be a challenge for a staff member, seamlessly working a reference to Caesar Augustus into your standard stump speech.

We had noted previously that the trailblazing aspect of Giuliani's campaign, stemming from his ethnicity, had been overshadowed by the historic nature of several other candidacies. We expected more attention would be paid to his roots as time went on. We must confess, though, Iaconis' column isn't quite what we anticipated.

Giuliani either, we imagine.

-- Don Frederick