Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rudy's a Dick Cheney Warrior: He Had Other Priorities

Rudy Giuliani, who is running for president on his national security credentials (which are nil) was on the Iraq Study Group, which produced the Baker-Hamilton report (which Bush ignored, but that's another story.) Rudy never showed up for one meeting, and when James Baker called him on it, it quit. What was he doing with his time? Raking in millions, you read that right, millions, as in $11.4 million in four months on the speaker circuit.

Do we really need another Presidential candidate with other priorities? Giuliani quit Iraq panel after missed meetings - but he had time for fundraising

WASHINGTON - Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said.

Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.

He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter explaining his decision to quit, and a look at his schedule suggests why - the sessions at times conflicted with Giuliani's lucrative speaking tour that garnered him $11.4 million in 14 months.

Giuliani failed to show up for a pair of two-day sessions that occurred during his tenure, the sources said - and both times, they conflicted with paid public appearances shown on his recent financial disclosure. Giuliani quit the group during his busiest stretch in 2006, when he gave 20 speeches in a single month that brought in $1.7 million.

On one day the panel gathered in Washington - May 18, 2006 - Giuliani delivered a $100,000 speech on leadership at an Atlanta business awards breakfast. Later that day, he attended a $100-a-ticket Atlanta political fundraiser for conservative ally Ralph Reed, whom Giuliani hoped would provide a major boost to his presidential campaign.

The month before, Giuliani skipped the session to give the April 12 keynote speech at an economic conference in South Korea for $200,000, his financial disclosure shows.

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