But Rudy has a few skeletons in his closet.
In boyhood, he developed a close friendship with one Alan Placa, who grew up to become a bigwig in the Roman Catholic Church -- to be specific, he was a Monsignor in Long Island, New York. Placa, it seems, developed what we may now call the "priestly ailment" -- a yearning for underaged males. His legal staff would attempt to buy off any talkative victims for a few thousand. He counseled other accused priests in other parishes on the best ways of fending off such accusations.
Eventually, Placa's odd sexual drives hit the newspapers. From a 2002 Newsday article:
Richard Tollner, 43, a mortgage broker now living in the Albany area, said he told prosecutors he had his first encounter with the priest in January 1975, on a day that classes were out, and the teen had come in to help make banners for a Right to Life march in Washington, D.C.Even though the statute of limitations put Placa in the legal clear, he was, in essence, defrocked. I say "in essence" because he case is, technically, still being considered by Rome.
He said the priest pulled out some posters in the deserted administrative area as if to show him something, and then began fondling him - all the while making conversation about the posters.
Tollner said the incidents repeated every month or so for the next year and a half. "It was always groping," he said. "He'd draw his hand deliberately to the inside of my thigh, and over my penis. It would go on for four or five minutes, sometimes as long as 10."
Throughout this entire period, Placa remained close to Giuliani. The bond remained close throughout Rudy's years at the Justice Department, and throughout his tenure as Mayor of New York City.
Placa provided the necessary ecclesiastical "wink" when Giuliani decided to marry his second cousin, a union normally frowned upon by the Roman Catholic church. (According to some, Placa, Rudy and the lady in question were all childhood pals.) When the marriage went sour, the Church annulled it following the "shocking" revelation of the familial tie.
In 2002, lauded worldwide as "America's Mayor" in the wake of the 911 attacks, Rudy Giuliani stepped down from his post and started a consulting firm -- called, unsurprisingly enough, Giuliani Consultants.
Of course, even former Monsignors have to earn a living. I suppose it might be too much to expect Placa to take on a humble position as a fast food clerk or gas station attendant or even (ahem!) a carpenter.
What gets to me is the lack of media attention.
Suppose John Edwards or Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton had given a cozy sinecure to a defrocked priest accused of pedophilia. What would occur? I'll tell you what: Every newspaper reader, every radio listener and every television watcher in America would be discussing the matter the very next day.
I'll bet you're learning about Rudy and his child-friendly priestly pal for the first time right here.