At a certain point you sort of have to wonder if Rudy Giuliani has a humiliation fetish. I don't say this to kink-shame, but given the past few days for the onetime mayor turned $20,000-a-day national punchline, it's hard to imagine he doesn't get some sort of pleasure from making a total ass of himself for someone else's benefit.
First it was the bizarre Trump campaign appearance, held at a nondescript Philadelphia landscaping company office, wedged between a sex shop and a crematorium (truly a metaphor for life if there ever was one). And on Thursday, the former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor once again drew stares and groans in an over-the-top press conference that was more grotesque spectacle than any sort of actual legal update about President Trump's blatant effort to steal the 2020 election out from under the noses of voters across the country.
In truth, the substance of Giuliani's burlesque is almost entirely unimportant. The whole thing was so packed full of lies, misdirection, and unhinged bloviation, its individual claims don't bear repeating. In theory, the news conference was called to update the public on the state of Trump's many, many lawsuits seeking to overturn, circumvent, or simply delay the vote-counting process in an election the president lost three weeks ago. In practice, the briefing was Giuliani and fellow Trump attorney Sidney Powell baselessly screaming about massive multi-state conspiracies being orchestrated by the Democratic Party, George Soros, communists, and Venezuelan dictators.
It was bonkers, and completely unmoored from reality or coherence. None of the allegations of voter fraud or malfeasance mentioned by Giuliani and Powell have any evidence of being, y'know, real, which makes sense if you consider that the goal — no matter the hyperbolic chest-thumping coming from the rest of the Trump legal inner circle — isn't so much to present a coherent legal case that could give the president a win, as it is to simply throw so much shit at so many fans for so long that people start to lose faith in the election as a whole. Then, per Reuters, the president can simply turn to state legislatures to appoint loyal Trumpists to the Electoral College, who will then vote for him even if Joe Biden won their state.
If you look at the press conference in that light ... well, it's still hard to say if it was a "success" or not. If anything, people will spend more time talking about Giuliani's melting hairspray and impromptu My Cousin Vinny reenactment than about any of the actual allegations he made.
Indeed, some of the president's inner circle were reportedly so concerned by Giuliani's performance that they felt absolutely compelled to voice their anxieties — anonymously, of course.
Others, including the administration's just-fired election cybersecurity chief, were more than willing to speak up on the record.
While the president himself hasn't publicly commented on Giuliani's mouth-foaming performance, it seems a safe bet that Trump, a man who thrives on chaos — especially the sort that draws eyes on television — is having a blast.