Giuliani's Mouth Is Running, but His Meter Isn't

Because he's running for president, Rudy Giuliani has stopped charging for his motivational speeches. Good thing.
Because he's running for president, Rudy Giuliani has stopped charging for his motivational speeches. Good thing. (By Andrea Bruce -- The Washington Post)
By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Looking for a bargain outing for the family? Consider a Rudy Giuliani speech.

The Republican presidential candidate and former New York mayor was charging $100,000 per speech before he announced two weeks ago that he was quitting the motivational lecture circuit. Now he can look forward to a year or more of talks like he gave yesterday to the Hoover Institution in the Willard ballroom -- earning nothing but applause.

Had America's Mayor charged the going rate, the 46-minute, 34-second speech would have cost the conservative think tank $2,147.46 per minute, including:

· $5,368.65 for jokes about the weather.

· $21,899.94 for his views on education.

· $9,019.32 for his thoughts on taxes.

Instead, the Hoover fellows got all this free, and more! Giuliani threw in bonus thoughts on foreign policy, such as "We clearly won the Cold War" (that two-second snippet had a market value of $71.58), and "We've never been a perfect country, we're never going to be a perfect country, but we're a good country, so we don't like war" ($214.74 for this six-second gem).

On the other hand, the value-conscious consumer apparently will have to pay full freight if Giuliani is going to say something controversial. The candidate said not a peep about abortion or gay rights. He skipped any mention of Iraq until a questioner asked him.

Finally pressed on Iraq, his two-minute, 28-second answer (a $5,297.04 value) included mentions of immigration, Social Security and class-action lawsuits. "I ran a hospital system, the second- or third-largest in the country. . . . We were paying out $500 million in claims, and settling claims that we just had to settle for amounts of money I would never thought you should give, and I'm a lawyer. That's what I really know about, even more than foreign policy."

Had they been paying customers, the Hoover fellows, drinking Cakebread Chardonnay and Swanson Merlot at noon, may have asked for a small rebate when Giuliani, explaining his switch from Democrat to Republican, cited "Churchill's statement: If you're not a liberal when you're 20 you have no heart, but if you're not a conservative by the time you're 40 you have no brain."

"There is no record of anyone hearing Churchill say this," reports the Churchill Centre.

But this was not a hostile crowd. Though religious conservatives are suspicious about Giuliani, the market conservatives of the Hoover Institution are not. Hoover overseer Bill Simon introduced Giuliani as "hopefully the next president" and recalled his "grace under pressure" on Sept. 11, 2001.

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