“What I’ve always found is people who talk about how tough they are aren’t the tough ones. I’m less interested in beating my chest and rattling my saber and more in making decisions that build a safer and more secure world.”
On a frosty January day in 1989, with his first mayoral race looming, Mr. Giuliani assembled his staff in the library at the United States attorney’s office and offered a goodbye salute. The once-chubby prosecutor now was almost gaunt, a thinning shock of dark hair combed across his scalp.
Look, he said, here’s what I have to say about my time here. We may have made our mistakes along the way, but I don’t think we ever made mistakes for the wrong reason.
Mr. Giuliani has held tight to that image, the jaunty chieftain and his legal warriors, many of whom have remained admirers and, in some cases advisers. But those who battled him remember most of all his near-overwhelming moral certitude.
It still troubles some.
“The public wants to see tough prosecutors, but being tough is not always best,” said Mr. McDonald, the former prosecutor who led the Organized Crime Strike Force. “If you’re always concerned with looking tough, you’re not always looking to be fair. I wonder about that balance.”