Will Rudy Giuliani give Americans an offer they can’t refuse? That’s the question on the minds of political commentators following news that Giuliani will be hosting “Mob Week,” a gangster-flick marathon on AMC that starts next week. During the series, the former Italian-American city mayor famed for being tough on crime will introduce classics like "The Godfather," "Carlito’s Way," and "Scarface."
The gig comes on the heels of Giuliani’s recent fact-finding trip to New Hampshire where he was taking the temperature of whether he could put together the campaign funds and team to make a GOP run for president.
Ray Gustini at The Atlantic Wire said Giuliani's decision to host “Mob Week” was a tell-tale sign that Giuliani wasn’t seriously considering a presidential run. Politico’s Maggie Haberman agreed, saying that the series was “not quite the typical venue for getting a glimpse at a potential presidential hopeful.”
Political image consultant Brian Kirwin disagreed.
“It’s a perfect venue,” said Kirwin. “American Movie Classics, with their over-40 demographic, is full of potential likely voters. So it’s an excellent media company to partner with for some visibility. “
Kirwin added that Giuliani's new gig was the kind of lighthearted gesture that could appeal to voters, not unlike Bill Clinton playing the saxophone in sunglasses on the Arsenio Hall show.
“It’s also a way to get publicity while sidestepping the mainstream media, which most candidates like to do when they are not officially a candidate,” said Kirwin. “They want to get their name out, but they don’t want the tough questions from the press corps.”
Prior to serving as mayor, Giuliani prosecuted major organized crime cases, including a case against 22 Sicilians accused of smuggling heroin into the U.S. while using New York pizza parlors as fronts. Giuliani’s key witness in that case was Joseph Pistone, the mob informant known as Donnie Brasco. Brasco was the topic of a 1997 film of the same name that will also be screened as part of “Mob Week”
Neither AMC nor Giuliani responded to WNYC's requests for comments.