Despite his high-profile role following 9/11 and his presidential ambitions, Republican Rudy Giuliani did not attend the first two meetings of the Iraq Study Group, prompting the GOP cochairman to remove him from the five-member Republican side of the bipartisan panel.
When Giuliani failed to appear, James Baker in late May 2006 replaced him with Ed Meese, a Reagan-era attorney general, according to the Democratic cochair, former Rep. Lee Hamilton.
“We had the first meeting, and he did not come,” confirmed Hamilton of the former New York mayor and current GOP presidential front-runner. “We had the second meeting, and he did not come.”
After that, said Hamilton, Baker moved to oust Giuliani and replace him with Meese. When the ouster was reported, Giuliani simply said that he didn’t have the time to commit to the group. News reports placed him at political events during the two two-day meetings. He eventually said it was a mistake to join the group, knowing that he was planning a full-time presidential campaign.