I'm in Miami for the weekend, and today I swung by Little Havana to catch Rudy Giuliani's appearance in the neighborhood's traditional Three Kings parade. As most readers will know, Rudy has increasingly banked everything on a longshot strategy of winning Florida's January 29 Republican primary and turning that momentum into a February 5 romp. So he's been spending more and more time down here.
From along the parade route, it was hard to guage too much about how the almost entirely Hispanic crowd here recieved him, although people seemed generally enthusiastic. In typically subtle fashion, as you can see, Rudy rode down Calle Ocho and past a Bay of Pigs "martyrs" memorial in... a fire truck.
But it wasn't an entirely smooth ride. Dogging Rudy along the parade route were at least two anti-abortion protesters. One carried a sign that read, RUDY GIULIANI DEMOCRAT IN DRAG. Another one, wearing a t-shirt that read ABORTION KILLS BABIES, walked through the crowd shouting vicious anti-Rudy messages through a bullhorn: "Rudy Giuliani is a Democrat who wants to continue the wholesale slaughter of human beings and make you pay for it! If you are a Christian you cannot vote for the murder of innocent human beings. The blood will be on your hands."
Although some in the crowd were shooing him away, many dozens of people definitely heard the message loud and clear. When I stopped him for a chat, the man identified himself as Steve Pokorny of The Society for Truth and Justice, a group founded by the infamous anti-abortion zealot Randall Terry, and said he was not affiliated with any other presidential campaign. Pokorny was a friendly guy, and at the end of our brief conversation he told me, "Thank you, thank you for your work." Then he was on his way down the street, megaphone to his mouth: "Rudy Giuliani is a mass murderer.... He wants to destroy life.... He wants to destroy traditional marriage...."
Just a taste of what's in store should Rudy manage to fight his way back into contention.