Last week, Rudy Giuliani ruffled some Italian-American feathers when he did an impersonation of Don Corleone during a California campaign stop. Newsday reports that the former Mayor "recycled" an "old New York gag" by saying, "Thank youse all very much for invitin' me here tuh-day, to this meeting of the families from different parts'a California."
The reaction from Italian-Americans is mixed: The president of the Italian American Museum and Coalition of Italian American Associations, Joseph Scelsa, believes Giuliani has done a lot to "advance the image of Italian Americans" while the Order Sons of Italy in America's Dona De Sanctis said, "We would hope that Mr. Giuliani would try to find humor in other aspects of his candidacy rather than his Italian heritage that way." Well, that's too easy - we couldn't find a clip of his impression, so here's this oldie but goodie of Giuliani in drag.
The Giuliani campaign response was, "Mayor Giuliani is proud of his Italian heritage and has a record celebrating the country's culture and the important contributions Italian-Americans have made to New York City and the United States." And this comment to the Advance from one-time Staten Island congressional candidate Eugene Prisco was interesting: "One of the grand contradictions and ironies is that there are large segments of the population who still wouldn't vote for Rudy Giuliani just because he's an Italian, and for him to do those impersonations doesn't help the situation."
Newsday says that Giuliani is an "unabashed" Godfather fan. Well, he's like millions of other people - it's just interesting given that his friend Bernard Kerik let a mob-connected firm do renovation work on his home. What do you think of Giuliani doing Corleone?