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Giuliani Would Invite Wife to Cabinet Meetings

Published:

(March 29) - In an interview with Barbara Walters, former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani  said that if elected president, he would have no problem allowing his wife Judith Giuliani to sit in on cabinet meetings, "If she wanted to. If they were relevant to something that she was interested in. I mean that would be something that I'd be very, very comfortable with," he said.....

 

He also tells Walters that he welcomes his wife's involvement in policy decisions during the campaign "to the extent she wants to be ... I couldn't have a better adviser." When asked if she will sit in on policy meetings, Judith said: "if [Rudy] asks me to, yes. And certainly in the areas of health care."

Although usually a very private person, Judith Giuliani has had her fair share of headlines, most recently surrounding the news that, like her husband, she has been married three times.

She recently confirmed her previously undisclosed marriage to Jeffrey Scott Ross, whom she married in 1974 when she was 19. The couple divorced in 1979. She said she wasn't trying to keep that first marriage hidden.

"Rudy and I have never had any secrets from each other. ... Rudy and I have always known everything about each other," she said. "I have just recently begun -- I think they call it in the political world -- being 'rolled out publicly.' ... And when I was asked, we discussed it. That was my decision."

Rudy is now leading the Republican  polls as a presidential candidate. He may be one of the most recognizable faces in New York, but few people know much about his wife.

Born in the small town of Hazleton, Pa., and of Italian descent, she has a college-age daughter named Whitney. At 52 years old, she's 10 years younger than her husband, who is the father of two college-age children, Andrew and Caroline.

Long before she was "rolled out publicly," Judith had a career as a registered nurse. She told Walters that she became a nurse because she "loved caring for people," and that her nursing skills were still helpful today.

"It's one of the best decisions I ever made, Barbara. ... That skill set has transferred, for me, to many aspects of our life."

She married her second husband, Bruce Nathan, in 1979. They divorced in the early 1990s. Nathan was a wealthy man, and when the marriage ended, Judith said her finances, and her life, drastically changed.

"I became a single working mom, something I'm very proud of. I had to re-enter the work force after, oh, gosh, more than a decade after being a wife and mother. ... It was an incredible growth period, Barbara, and I look back on it now and I'm so happy that I had that time period, because it made me such a much stronger person."

When asked how she and Rudy had met, Judith said, "That's one thing that I would kind of like to keep private," but she did say the two met "by accident."

She said that the two were instantly attracted to each other, and that "from the minute that Rudy and I met, we had an incredible ... mutual respect for each other."

When the relationship first became public in May 2000, the headlines were harsh. The mayor shortly announced that he was divorcing his second wife, Donna Hanover, and he was forced to respond publicly and defend his new relationship, saying, "Judith Nathan is a very, very fine person. She's been a very good friend to me."

The fact that the mayor was still married when they met made the beginning of their relationship a "rocky road," but Judith says that "when you have a partnership that is based on mutual respect and communication, the two of you know what's going on."

The couple soon faced an even bigger challenge, when Rudy was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was in the midst of a heated Senate  campaign against Hillary Clinton ; he dropped out of the race soon after receiving his diagnosis.

"I was petrified in the beginning, of course, yes," Judith said of the fear that he might not survive the cancer. "While I tried not to let on to him at that time, that, for me, was one of the most frightening days of my entire life. And, as we all know, he's cancer-free now, thank God."

Sept. 11 introduced Rudy to America and the world, and changed many people's views of him. Judith said it changed him as well.

"I was there with Rudy shortly after the second attack. ... And remained with him throughout the next several days," she said. "And the things that we saw, Barbara. ... Unspeakable horrors. ... There isn't [any] human being that could possibly go through that experience. ... And not be changed."

Judith was constantly by the mayor's side during the aftermath of the attack. Asked whether she thought she was helpful, she replied, "I hope so. We'll let him answer that."

Rudy did answer that question, when he joined the interview to talk about the woman he clearly adores.

"Nobody will ever know all the things she did to get me and the city through Sept. 11," he said. "She said, 'I'm not leaving your side.' And I said, 'OK, well if you're going to be here, you're going to go to work."

He put Judith in charge of getting information from all of the hospitals. She helped deal with the victims' families and also helped start the Twin Towers fund.

Sept. 11 helped them put things in perspective, but it was not the end of the couple's personal challenges. The dissolution of Rudy's marriage continued to attract attention. When asked whether Judith was responsible for the breakup of his marriage, Rudy told Walters, "She was not."

Entry #1,053

Comments

1.
csfbComment by csfb - April 2, 2007, 2:22 pm
3x married. I have trouble with this. Marriage needs nurturing in order to succeed.   Did he even try to nurture his previous marriages??? I don't know the answer, but I will not give Guliani the benefit of the doubt.

2.
justxploringComment by justxploring - April 2, 2007, 7:49 pm
If I were married to a politician, I wouldn't want to sit on a cabinet meeting. After all, once your kitchen is completed, you usually have all the cabinets installed. So all that's left is to decide where to place your canned goods and dinnerware.

Seriously, I don't like Giuliani. I'm still trying to figure out what happened to all the homeless people he "got rid of." He's a bully, a bigot and a fascist.

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