NICE COUNTRY YOU'VE GOT HERE. IT'D BE A SHAME IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO IT.

NICE COUNTRY YOU'VE GOT HERE. IT'D BE A SHAME IF SOMETHING HAPPENED TO IT. Via Greg Sargent, we get the latest sample of Rudy Giuliani's singular charm:

Answering questions at a town-hall meeting, Giuliani was asked why he should expect loyalty from GOP voters when his children aren't backing him.

"I love my family very, very much and will do anything for them. There are complexities in every family in America," Giuliani said calmly and quietly. "The best thing I can say is kind of, 'leave my family alone, just like I'll leave your family alone.'"

Is it just me, or does that sound like a thinly-veiled threat? If I were that voter, I'd invest in an alarm system for my house.

Eight years ago, we were told that what was really important to voters was which candidate they'd rather share a beer with. The thing about Giuliani is that, simply put, the guy's a jerk. Not even his own supporters, I suspect, would seriously disagree with this point. In New York, he got elected because he convinced voters that a jerk was what they needed; then four years later he convinced them that his particular brand of jerkishness was working (and let's be honest, he didn't exactly have a tough task overcoming the political typhoon that was Ruth Messinger).

It's becoming obvious that Giuliani's pitch to GOP voters is essentially, "Whether it's fighting terrorism or securing our borders, what we need is a president so mean even his own kids hate him." If it works, it'll certainly be a first.

--Paul Waldman

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