Today on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Rudy Giuliani repeatedly attacked President Obama for being "off on vacation" following the Gulf oil spill and having "remained on vacation for 11 days" after the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt. Under spirited questioning from host Joe Scarborough, Giuliani denied that he was taking a "cheap shot," and claimed that he and Presidents Reagan and Bush never went on vacation "in the middle of a crisis." Giuliani concluded:
GIULIANI: On Christmas evening, the first year that I was the mayor, I left my house and I went to the hospital, and I spent five hours there, because I was the mayor of New York City, and I should be on the spot, taking charge of something from the very beginning.
This has been a gross failure in crisis management. Could not have done it worse -- And you shouldn't be on vacation when a crisis is affecting the country.
Putting aside for a moment the validity of attacking President Obama for going on vacation during a crisis that by all accounts will last for months, Giuliani's self-righteousness is, of course, at odds with his actual record. Salon.com reported that following the September 11 attacks, "Giuliani spent about 58 hours at Yankees games or flying to them in the 40 days between Sept. 25 and Nov. 4, roughly twice as long as he spent at ground zero in the 90 days between Sept. 17 and Dec. 16." That tally includes trips to Arizona for Games 6 and 7 of the World Series.
As a Yankees fan, I applaud Giuliani's commitment to the pinstripes. But his rhetoric on Obama's vacations is clearly well outside the strike zone.