Newsday reports that Rudy Giuliani quit the Iraq Study Group after two months. He quit, according to Newsday, after James Baker told him he would have to attend all of the panel’s meetings in Washington. Giuliani had missed two sessions due, apparently, to speaking engagements. It’s not clear from the article whether Giuliani had committed to give these speeches before the ISG meetings were scheduled or, if so, whether he requested a scheduling accommodation from Baker.
Giuliani’s decision will be portrayed as Newsday portrays it — a case of putting his personal finances above service to his country. But this assumes that, at the time he made his decision, he thought that serving on a study group led by James Baker and various Democrats would advance his country’s interests. Giuliani may seriously have doubted that anything worthwhile could come from the ISG and feared that the ISG’s recommendations would be perverse. If so, his doubts and fears proved well-founded.
UPDATE: Kate Levinson, the communications director for the Giuliani campaign, says this about Giuliani’s decision to leave the ISG:
As someone considered a potential presidential candidate, the Mayor didn