"Part of what motivates me is [a desire to] straighten things out, make them better, have an impact on problems," he told the Monitor.
Giuliani gradually came to feel he'd have a better chance of having an impact as a Republican. In the 1970s, he'd registered as an Independent so his prosecutions as a US attorney wouldn't be seen as political. In 1980, he switched to the GOP, hoping for a job in Washington in the newly elected Reagan administration – which he got within a month.
On the campaign trail, Giuliani is quick to tout his New York accomplishments.
"When I was mayor of New York City, we worked very, very hard to reduce crime, but also to right-size government … ultimately to make it effective and efficient," he said at a September breakfast hosted by the Northern Virginia Technology Council in Reston, Va. "If it weren't for technology, we wouldn't have been able to accomplish that." Noting that he had created a new department responsible for upgrading the technology of all other city departments, he wryly said: "The reason we named it the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications – DOITT – was because we wanted to call it DO-IT!"
To his supporters, the former mayor remains the tight-fisted hero who tamed an uncivil city.
To his critics, Giuliani was a divisive bully who brazenly stole credit for others' accomplishments: The crime rate had started to decline three years before he was elected, and the Disney deal that revitalized Times Square was negotiated by his predecessor, David Dinkins.