- Title: USA: MAYOR OF NEW YORK RUDOLPH GIULIANI IS LEAVING OFFICE ON JANUARY 1
- Date: 28th December 2001
- Summary: (U1) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, USA (FILE) (REUTERS) SV HILLARY CLINTON DURING HER SENATE CAMPAIGN RUN (3 SHOTS) SLV GIULIANI CUTTING A RIBBON DURING HIS SENATE CAMPAIGN RUN
- Reuters ID: LVACZWP9EZYOF0LMNSRJUQFM2GZV
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:20
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Story Text: Rudolph Giuliani, hailed worldwide for his leadership of New York city since the September 11 attacks, is leaving office on January 1 after serving 8 years as mayor.
Last year on December 31, Rudolph Giuliani, mayor of New York, helped ring in the New Year in Times Square. In this upcoming New Year, he will leave office shortly after midnight on January 1, 2002, after guiding the city through perhaps the most difficult year in it's history because of the attacks of September 11.
In his eight years as mayor, Rudolph Giuliani took the rot out of the Big Apple. To admirers and some detractors, Giuliani made New York safer by cracking down on crime and by imposing his larger-than-life personality on the most diverse city in the world, a city many considered ungovernable.
Critics of his eight-year administration thaton Jan.
1 saw a snarling, intemperate leader who trampled on civil liberties, set out to destroy dissenters and harmed race relations by appearing at times to ignore the city's growing black and Hispanic population.
But everyone agrees that the energetic, forceful Giuliani led the city of 8 million people with a inspiring blend of compassion, calm and toughness through its worst crisis -- the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center, killed thousands and damaged the economy.
On Friday Giuliani held a press conference at City Hall and reminisced about his stay as New York mayor.
"I honestly think I did the best I could. I'm a human being, I have my limitations and there are some things I do well and maybe some things I don't do as well. I tried very hard to do this job 100 percent, devoted myself to it," said Giuliani.
Giuliani said it would be up to others to write his legacy.
"I don't think you get to determine how you're remembered.
People look at what you've done or what you've failed to do or what you think you did right. People get to do that for themselves I don't think you get to create you're memory and since I intend to live for a very long time I don't want to have a memory yet," said Giuliani.
Giuliani, known to everyone as "Rudy," almost never took a vacation and rushed around the city attending to business, visiting disaster scenes at all times of day and night, consistently sending the message that he was in control.
More than once, Giuliani would say "I give this city everything I've got." No one doubted it.
Images of Giuliani covered in ash and dirt as he led the emergency response alongside his police and fire department chiefs immediately after the twin towers' collapse symbolized his hands-on style of governing.
Already nationally and internationally acclaimed for his crime-fighting exploits since he was first elected in 1993, after Sept. 11 Giuliani became "America's mayor" and burnished his legacy as one of the most important occupants of City Hall in New York's 335-year history of electing mayors. Time magazine named Giuliani its "Person of the Year" for his post-Sept. 11 leadership. Giuliani drew a standing ovation when President George W. Bush praised his in a speech before a joint session of Congress for his handling of the September 11 attacks.
Giuliani was asked in Friday's press briefing if he had any aspirations for national office, particularly a vice-presidential run with Bush in 2004.
"I don't think anybody ever should pursue the vice-presidency or cabinet appointments. Presidents should have freedom to decide whatever they want or not want about that so that's not something I want or seek. We have a great President and an equally great vice-president and I'm very, very strong supporters of theirs."
Asked about a presidential bid in 2008, Giuliani said it was to far in the future to say.
"If you had asked me when I got re-elected in 1997 or early 1998 would I be running for the Senate, or attempting to run for the Senate, that wasn't part of my plan, I don't know what I'm going to be doing in 2008," said Giuliani.
In April of 2000, Giuliani disclosed he had prostate cancer, putting his putative U.S. Senate campaign against first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in disarray.
Then in May, he announced a Manhattan woman, Judith Nathan, was "a very good friend" and said he was separating from his wife of 16 years, TV presenter/actress Donna Hanover.
At Friday's press conference Giuliani was asked about the current state of his health.
"I knew my health was terrific before September 11. I knew I had recovered. I had been tested a number of time. I didn't realize I was as healthy as I turned out to be or had the amount of energy. I thought as a result of the prostate cancer and the serious radiation treatment that I went through, two different types of radiation, for a period of time I had less energy than I usually did and I thought that would be permanent, but I found out, after September 11 that I have as much energy as I've always had," said Giuliani.
Giuliani leaves a complicated legacy from a mayoralty that was eventful both politically and personally even before two hijacked planes slammed into the 110-story twin towers, altering the city's skyline and psyche forever.
Crime rates fell to the lowest level in 30 years, making not only residents feel safer, but boosting tourism and the economy with more firms willing to do business in New York.
Giuliani redirected the country's largest police force of about 40,000 officers to rout criminals and rid the streets of some of the city's toughest and poorest neighborhoods of drugs and guns. While crime started declining under Giuliani's predecessor David Dinkins, the overall rate fell 52 percent from 1994 through 2001. Murders were reduced by 68 percent.
The transformation of Times Square, the so-called "Crossroads of the World" to an area of family theaters and new corporate headquarters from one dominated by sex shops and hustlers, would not have been possible without crime reductions, observers said.
In February 1998, the mayor called on traditionally gritty and edgy New Yorkers to be more polite as part of one of his famous "quality of life" initiatives that over the years, targeted everyone from jaywalkers and hot dog vendors to drug dealers and mass murderers.
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