BY MONICA YANT KINNEY INQUIRER COLUMNIST Dios mio, I’m thinking as Rudy Giuliani graces Geno’s Steaks with his presence the other night.So many young, white college kids hoping the GOP presidential front-runner might accidentally touch them as he moved among the masses. So many Republicans united by disgust over the changing face of America, they don’t notice the enemy playing futbol on a rec center field across the street.
As campaign cliches go, it doesn’t get much better than Giuliani dropping by Joey Vento‘s neon palace in South Philly.
The Italian American who wants to seal the border, bonding with the Italian American who once told a reporter that immigrants are infecting the U.S. with disease because “Mexicans play and drink out of the same water.”
“Whenever I’m at Geno’s, I order in English,” Giuliani told NBC10’s Mike Strug, fanning the flames while contemplating Whiz, American or provolone.
Speaking in tongues
If only someone from the Census Bureau would have shown up at Geno’s to marvel in the simplification of such a complex issue. The zip code around the cheesesteak emporium is home to 32,680 residents, a mix of white (66 percent), black (16 percent), Asian (12 percent) and Latino (4 percent). So much for the Italian Market.
Nearly a quarter of the locals speak a language other than English at home — which is not to say they speak no English.
In fact, the census reports, 55 percent of those who prefer to nag their spouse in Spanish say they speak English “very well.”
Surely, the men I hear bantering comfortably in Vietnamese between sips of soda from Geno’s must know their Coke from Pepsi. Otherwise, Vento wouldn’t have served them. A rule’s a rule, right?[…]
I asked Giuliani’s staff what languages the would-be president speaks. Fluently or conversationally. I’m not picky.
The question, I’m told, was a first for the campaign.
“It’s a simple answer,” spokesman Jeff Barker told me. “He speaks English only.” MORE
SLIDESHOW: Rudy Goes To Joey’s
[photos by JONATHAN VALANIA]