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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 18:34 GMT
Your farewell message to Rudolph Giuliani
Monday 31st December, 2001 was Rudolph Giuliani's last day as mayor of New York City.

Mr Giuliani won worldwide praise for his leadership during and following the 11 September attacks.

His eight-year tenure as mayor was often mired in controversy, especially over his tough "zero tolerance" stance on crime.

Before 11 September his popularity was reaching an all-time low and US newspapers were full of details about his complicated personal life.

But his handling of the September crisis turned him into perhaps the most popular political figure in the country.

What is your farewell message to Rudolph Giuliani? What do you think of his job as mayor? What does his political future hold?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

You gave us our pride and our courage back. Bona fortuna, your honor.
Robert del Valle, USA

I hope he gets to be elected President of the USA

Guilherme Stocchero, Brazil
As a great lover of anglo-american culture, I'd say New York will miss Mr Giuliani a lot. I hope he gets to be elected President of the USA soon. George W. Bush seems painfully uncapable of running a country of such power.
Guilherme Stocchero, Brazil

I can't tell you the number of times I have heard people here say some variation of the following: "Rudy was great after Sept. 11; if you're going to have a fascist dictator, that was the time for it." He came through in our moment of crisis, but 8 years of divisiveness, hypocrisy and insenstivity cannot be erased. I can't believe Giuliani deserves the credit he is given for making NYC "safe." Crime went down everywhere in America during these years-- and most cities did it without allegations of police brutality. I also can't forget the insane uproar he made over the "Sensation" exhibit - nearly closing a public museum! I won't miss him a bit.
Matthew, New York, USA

Yes I believe Rudy has done a remarkable job in bringing calm and morality to a city which has been in turmoil since september 11th,well done sir, may we show appreciation to the emergency services who were also heros and an inspiration to us all
Yvonne Carmichael

Rudy initially did an outstanding job following sep 11. He then blew it with a unfeeling attitude towards NY's hero's the Fire fighters when scaling down the clearance operation and the contemptuous rejection of $10m dollars from a Saudi Prince for the victims.
Barry B, UK

Rudy became a celebrity only because he exceeded expectations.

Jeannine, Chicago, USA
Up until recently I lived most of my life in New York so I feel compelled and qualified to comment. I will not miss Rudy... What astounds me is the remarkably short memories we Americans seem to possess. Rudy became a celebrity only because he exceeded expectations. He has shrewdly exploited a national tragedy to rise up from a very low base. A base filled with insentivity and contempt for human rights and the laws that protect. It doesn't take a remarkable political genius to clean up a city that is enjoying record setting low un-employment and unheard of prosperity. But, let us not forget that under Guiliani's watch, he vocally championed a police department accused of two of the worst cases of police brutality the city has seen. 9-11 forced from his soul a degree of compassion we've never seen... hooray.... however his legacy is built upon policies of cold-hearted rudeness and disregard that divided communities. It is not likely that even his own party will support any of his future efforts for higher office (e.g. Vice Presidency) because he has exhibited an independent minded selfishness and lack of team spirit...and yet, still, we celebrate.
Jeannine, Chicago, USA

I'll say this, Giuliani has now set a new standard for all future mayors, govenors and presidents to be compared to instead of muck raking that usually goes along with the election process in the US.
Aaron Wood, USA

People who don't live in New York are not really qualified to comment

Jonathan Michaud, US
As a Brit that has lived in the New York for six and a half years I thought that Rudy did a superb job after the attacks. Before that he spent eight years transforming a city that was dirty, crime-ridden and broken into a wonderful place to live. It is interesting to note that a lot of the negative comments are from people who don't live in New York and thus are not really qualified to comment!!
Jonathan Michaud, US

It's really quite easy to be popular and do a good job when suddenly you find everyone agrees with you on an issue which overshadows all else. How many leaders have failed to be lauded in a similar situation? My lasting impression of Rudy will be of someone who was intransigently blind to the idea that the US is ever at fault - that was inexcusable, no matter how difficult the period was for the American people. The last 50 years have been pretty tricky for the Palestinian people, but I didn't hear him speaking up for them.
Pete, UK

I'm glad to see him go

Ryan, NYC, USA
Rudy tried to turn New York into a homogenised mall. I'm glad to see him go.
Ryan, NYC, USA

Your recent elevation to "hero" status doesn't mean you (or the NYPD) are forgiven for what happened to Abner Louima or Amadou Diallo.
Giordana, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Overrated Man of the Year? He has my vote.
Fikry, USA

He turned down $10 million in aid after 11 September - what a guy! The reason? The donator, a Saudi prince had the audacity to suggest that the US should "reconsider its polices in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinians." Imagine that! Imagine asking the US to consider that it may be partially to blame due to its one-sided foreign policies - unbelievable. Nice one Rudy!
John Rowley, USA

11 September has caused people to unite which is good. It has also caused some lies to overshadow obvious truths. Rudy is still a dictator.

A sad tragedy makes heroes of people rather than thanking them for the job they are supposed to do. The real heroes are the firefighters of New York who risk their lives to save others - has Rudy done anything to appreciate their sacrifice - no! I bet Rudy would like the next twin towers named after him.
Raminder Bhalla, Northolt, Middlesex

New York City has improved remarkably under his stewardship

John, USA
I think that Rudy has received a public relations windfall as a result of most people's understandable unwillingness to be critical in the aftermath of such a terrible event. I was born and raised in New York City and was near the World Trade Centre when the attacks occurred. I have never seen the people of this city so united. Of course, this is a natural reaction to such a horrific event and not the result of anything Rudy has done. Nonetheless, New York City has improved remarkably under his stewardship and part of me is sad to see him go (the other part couldn't be happier).
John, USA

Simon Moore, UK

My friend and I went to New York about three years ago - what a wonderful city! We felt so safe and free to be ourselves. I think Rudy Giuliani has done a brilliant job in bringing the citizens of New York together and giving them the pride back to make the city great again.
Virginia Woodgate, UK

He may have shown initiative during the aftermath of 11 September but his attitude towards ethnic minorities and under-developed countries stinks. He does not deserve the Time Magazine personality title.
Ted, Netherlands

This guy is a typical politician

Kevin O'Day, USA
This guy is a typical politician. I never would have made him Man of the Year. He treated the poor and the homeless lousy. As for his 'morality'... we'll leave that up to God.
Kevin O'Day, USA

You did a remarkable job and showed the whole world what politicians should be. May God bless you forever.
Monica Drumond, Brazil

Rudy, thank you very much. You have done a great job.
Ambresh, India

I can only compare what Rudy did, in terms of setting an example, to the way that Roosevelt or Churchill united the battered citizens to get through the aftermath of a situation that would have paralysed most people. God bless him and all the people who found the strength to carry on. My heart goes out to them.
Steve, USA

Probably the only man in history who's knocked back a cheque for $10 million

James, UK
Probably the only man in history who's knocked back a cheque for $10 million. That's some achievement, best of luck in your future.
James, UK

I am a proud New Yorker. I was working in mid-town that horrible day. I weep as I write this at the memory of the day. To see military planes over my city was mind boggling. In my life I have never been prouder of the way Rudy took control and saved us all. His leadership and grace through those first moments, hours, days held all of us together. Thank you Rudy.
Julia LaRosa, USA

You have been hailed has a great American since the aftermath of the World Trade Centre collapse. Most people have now forgotten your police's attitude with the ethnic minorities of your city.
Stephane Verger, France

New Yorkers should watch him closely next time he seeks political office.

Yahya Kaloko, United States
In as much as I agree with those whose praised Rudy's courage and leadership, I also agree that he is a very big opportunist who tried to influence a change in the New York constitution because of 11 September. I personally feel that was very egotistical of him. New Yorkers should therefore watch him closely the next time around he ventures for any political office.
Yahya Kaloko, United States

We have just returned from New York was safe enough to take our seven year old daughter round during the day and at night. That's more than can be said for where we live in Nottingham. That is the testament to what Mayor Giuliani has achieved.
Rob Garlick, England

We are all proud of you here

Judy Lessiter, Canada
As an English woman living in Montreal, I want to add my thanks to you for your wonderful consideration of all the Brits who died in the 11 September horror, in particular, and also for showing the way to clean up New York, where my beloved daughter lives and works. We are all proud of you here, and hope we have not seen the last of your leadership.
Judy Lessiter, Canada

Good luck in your retirement. You are remarkable in that in a time of absolute crisis you kept everything going and your lack of panic had the most amazing reassuring affect on people all over the world who were in a state of shock over 11 September.
Patricia Blazey, UK

Rudy's reaction to 11 September was everything New York city and the US wants from any politician. It's rare when you see one of 'them' act and react in a way that truly represents what the people want. He did this and so did our president. I wish we could feel this way about all of our government leaders.
Nancy, USA

Rudy Giuliani was a beacon of strength to New York City and the nation after the 11 September attacks. He was there for the families who lost loved ones and showed great support for the rescue workers. He won my heart when he refused to accept $10 million charity from an Arab sheik who criticised US foreign policy at such a horrible time for Americans. In other words, he practised what he preached. Long live Rudy!
Jane Rubino, US

I thought he was great before 11 September. He managed to get things done and I just wish we had somebody in our government who I could respect as much as this man. Blair is arrogant and an egotist, Bush is dim and dangerous but Rudy is a true leader and I wish him success in his next job. Does he fancy running for Parliament over here?
Andy, UK

While working in New Jersey some years ago, I had to visit New York city on business. I was told to take a wallet with just a few dollars in it so that when robbed I would not lose too much. Thanks to him, that has changed.
Ron, USA

Rudy, you have done a really fantastic job as mayor for the past eight years, and your strength, leadership and just being there after the events of 11 September served as a beacon of hope amid the darkness. I bid you a fond and tearful farewell.
Alan Palm, USA

Rudy is an opportunist who made the most of a tragic event

Michael, USA/UK
As a politician, Rudy is an opportunist who made the most of a tragic event and then tried to convince everyone to let him stay in office a while longer because his ego couldn't let go of the power. He did no more or less than any mayor would have done, under the same circumstances. Time's up, Rudy. Next?
Michael, USA/UK

He has cleaned up one of the world's dirtiest cities, cracked down on crime (yes, zero tolerance is good) and proved to be a real leader after the events of 11 September - too right that New York should be sad to see him go. London is in a real mess so Ken Livingstone should sit up and take note; he could learn a lot from Rudolph...
Kate, UK

I think he did an excellent job after 11 September going above and beyond the call of duty. As far as his performance before the attacks...three cheers for him - the evil, conservative Republican - who believed like a lot of us that people should take responsibility for their actions, that the government is not the savior of us all and that this country has been run long enough under the "tyranny of the oppressed"!
Trisha, Atlanta, USA

Rudy, you are the best mayor we ever had. You created jobs where there were none, cracked down on crime to a record low, and cleaned up one of the dirtiest cities. In all you made it safe and secure for all the people who live and visit New York City. I can only hope Rudy runs again for mayor four years from now.
Casey, NYC, USA

His empathy and resoluteness after 11 September were a beacon to all Americans

John Litwinski, Boston, Mass., USA
Rudy did a terrific job as mayor of New York, and his empathy and resoluteness after 11 September were a beacon to all Americans and freedom loving people. Thanks, Rudy, for doing so much to make New York a much safer, more livable city, and for being there in a big way after 11 September.
John Litwinski, Boston, Mass., USA

What is all the fuss about? Time Magazine "Man of the Year"? I think not.
Kenny, UK

Rudy did a fine job concerning 11 September, but it was the job he was supposed to do. He remains a conservative Republican willing to overlook, even take away the civil rights of citizens to "clean-up" New York. Don't let this one situation fool you into thinking he's changed his spots. Next Governor? A presidential bid? He better strike while the iron's hot.
Keith, USA

See also:

28 Dec 01 | Americas
Giuliani says goodbye to NY
23 Dec 01 | Americas
Giuliani wins Time accolade
23 Dec 01 | Americas
Giuliani backs victims' claims fight
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