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Senator Giuliani?

Is former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani weighing a Senate bid? Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount of the Washington Post

After months of relative quiet regarding the political future of former mayor Rudy Giuliani (R), the New York newspapers have exploded this afternoon with reports that not only has he decided not to run for governor in 2010 but that he plans to enter the Senate race against Kirsten Gillibrand instead.

Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for Giuliani, released a statement insisting that no decisions -- about the Senate or governors races -- have been made; "When Mayor Giuliani makes a decision about serving in public office, he will inform New Yorkers on his own," added Comella.

According to conversations with several Giuliani insiders, the Mayor has not made up his mind yet although a run for either governor or Senate is not likely. Interestingly, a Senate bid appears to be the more likely choice if Giuliani decides to get back into the political game, note the sources.

A Giuliani Senate candidacy would be news to most national Republicans who say they have heard or seen little in recent weeks to indicate that the mayor is actively considering a challenge to Gillibrand.

Of course, Giuliani's near-universal name recognition in the Empire State coupled with a vast national fundraising network built during his 2008 run for president make him far less dependent than a typical Senate challenger on entities like the National Republican Senatorial Committee and its ilk.

On its face, the Senate race is a more winnable race for Giuliani. Gillibrand was appointed to the seat by Gov. David Paterson (D) earlier this year and remains a somewhat unknown commodity statewide. The White House, however, has done much to strengthen Gillibrand's hand -- most notably getting Rep. Steve Israel to bow out of a primary challenge to her.

While Paterson is deeply unpopular and trails Giuliani by double digits in most general election polls, there is almost no political person -- of either party -- in the Empire State who believes that he will be the Democratic nominee for governor. That title is almost certain to fall to state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who, although he has yet to give any signal of his interest in the race, holds a huge lead over Paterson and is regarded as near-lock next November as well given the Democratic lean of the state. Giuliani would also have to beat former Rep. Rick Lazio in a primary for governor, a doable but not simple task.

What remains to be seen is whether Giuliani, the consummate chief executive (for both good and ill), wants to become a member of the minority party in a chamber that proudly touts its reputation as the world's greatest deliberative body. Giuliani has already run for Senate once -- an abbreviated bid against Hillary Clinton in 2000 -- and those close to him say he misses the political game.

Still, the Senate seems an odd fit for someone with Giuliani's interests and approach to politics and governing. Our bet? Giuliani stays in the private sector, biding his time for a race that's a better fit.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 19, 2009; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Governors , Senate  
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People forget that Rudy Guiliani was at rock bottom of public opinion approval polls immediately prior to 9/11. He crassly capitalized on NYC's tragedy to make himself "America's Mayor". The reason he was so out of favor was simple: the man is a one-man band, ego-driven bully - He would be a disaster in the US Senate because he is totally incapable of cooperative effort with a deliberative body like the legislature. He and wife #3 (or is it #4?) should stay on the "Hampton's Horse Show" circuit where their insatiable thirst for attention is more appropriate.

Posted by: PennyQuince | November 21, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Rudy, like Newt, Mitt, and Sarah, is just another badly dented can on the Republican salvage shelf.

Posted by: bulldog6 | November 20, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Guiliani is Newt "family values" Gingrich without the intelligence.

His decisions regarding the command center pre-9/11 and his endorsement of Bernie Kerik locally and nationally would more than haunt him in any bid for office. He many have great teeth, but New Yorkers have long memories.

Posted by: bulldog6 | November 20, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

My bet is that Guiliani stays in the private sector. He's making so much money there through speaking engagements & his business ventures. Guiliani is very successful there. I do not know if he would run for governor or senator. I know he loves the money from the speaking engagements he gets. Plus his security business: always traveling & such. He keeps very busy on a business level.

On the other hand, he obviously loved being mayor of NYC. He cracked down hard on crime and balanced budgets while there. He may bring those qualities to the governor's mansion or the US Senate. If Guiliani ran for Governor, that would definatly be a tougher race if Cuomo runs. If Cuomo bows out and lets Patterson be the nominee, then the governor's seat is way more open. My bet is that Cuomo runs. If so, he cleans Patterson's clock in a D primary. A Guiliani/Cuomo governor's race would get lots of national attention and be a barns burner. On the other hand, since 9/11, Guiliani has liked to focus on national issues and has even ran for the R nomination for President in 2008. Kristin Gillbrand makes the US Senate seat vulnerable, as Gillbrand trails both Pataki & Guiliani in polls. If Pataki chooses to run against Gillbrand & Guiliani runs for governor, it could be a great Republican year in New York. My bet is that doesn't happen. I think Lazio will be the R in the governor's race and maybe Pataki or Guiliani runs for senate. It may well be Guiliani and these reports may be true. It will be interesting if it happens.

Posted by: reason5 | November 20, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I think Giuliani needs to stay in the private sector. He can make a lot more money there. I also think that whatever good that he is known for in New York is offset by the considerable baggage that he carries. I think Gillibrand was a poor choice for the Senate, but, given New York's Democratic lean, she would beat Giuliani easily, current polls notwithstanding.

I have a personal beef with Giuliani. In 2006, he made TV commercials for Ken Blackwell's run for governor in Ohio. That he would participate in the effort to make Blackwell our governor finished him off forever in my eyes. Talk about a monumental display of poor judgment!

Posted by: jothomp | November 20, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Rudy could hang around the Senate, vote present, negotiate, stall, make no decisions, spend lots of other peoples money, account for nothing, posture, hold hearings, attend summits, travel overseas.

Don't think this suits him

it does sound exactly like someone else I know.

Posted by: snowbama | November 19, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Duh.....why would Rudy want to take the controls just as the train leaves the tracks?? He might be a chickenhawk neocon....but he's not an idiot.

This way he can sit in the Senate and throw arrows without responsibility or consequence.

Posted by: jbg1 | November 19, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Without commenting on Rudy's politics, I'm surprised that he would pass up the Governorship and consider the Senate, given his personality. I simply cannot imagine him schmoozing, making deals, negotiating, and forming strategic alliances. He seems more of an autocrat, and being Mayor or Governor (or Emperor) seems much more suited to his style.

Posted by: ExperimentalTheologian | November 19, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

...and the right will never buy him as they have too many Hoffmen available to lard the ticket with.



neologism of the day!

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention his one big moment wasn't really all that much. When the Towers fell he *didn't hide under his desk*. Instead he assured people that the air was safe to work in, made certain the fire department lacked the radios that would have saved many lives, that the command center was destroyed in the attack.

Stellar? Hardly.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

A noun, a verb, and 911 didn't get him any traction in 2008, just what else has he got? He can't appeal to the center, because he has spent too much time pandering the right, and the right will never buy him as they have too many Hoffmen available to lard the ticket with. He's just another balding, aging, pandering pitchman, and his one big moment is forgotten history by now.

Posted by: ceflynline | November 19, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Of course his Rudyness is not running for Governor.
Governors are often held accountable, whereas Senators get to live in a nice bubble. 9/11 Rudy 9/11 yada yada yada... BTW, are you hiring the same guys who ran your Presidential campaign to run your Senatorial one? Just saying.

Posted by: rkerg | November 19, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure he'll get the family values vote. I hear his ex-wife and girlfriend/mistress will campaign for him. Crawl back under your rock, Rudy. The 9-11 milk is running dry.

Posted by: rcvinson64 | November 19, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

This man likes all the attention but doesn't want to do the work. He dropped out when he was running against Hillary Clinton. He thought he was so great that all he had to do in the primaries for President was visit Florida. People talk about him running for Governor and now Senator yet he won't commit to either. Whatever, what a waste of time. The man is lazy and egotistical. He thinks by exploiting 9/11, he can get what ever he likes. WRONG !!!

Posted by: catmomtx | November 19, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Rudy should go for it. He tells it like it is and will drive the Democrats wild.


Every time you goobers crow about "driving the Democrats wild" your guy loses his election.

I can only wonder how many generations it's going to take before you-plural finally figure out that the great majority of Americans aren't the eggbound hate-crazed bigots you think they are.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Rudy ran the worst Presidential Primary race in the history of the country. He raised $51 million dollars for his campaign and collected exactly one delegate before he withdrew from the race.

Posted by: gaxelrod | November 19, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Rudy should go for it. He tells it like it is and will drive the Democrats wild.

Run Rudy Run!!

Posted by: mwhoke | November 19, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Rudy really is a buffoon. Speaking unscripted he falls back on pull-ring talking points, the words coming out with no spaces between them.

He gets points over Palin because the stock phrases make sense, gramattically anyway, but he's just as babblous as she is.

The GOP needs more moderates and centrists, but they need good ones.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Today is November 19th, not April 1st.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 19, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani should be making diahhrea commercials on television. He could be their spokesman. Put him in a cardigan sweater and he has the look.

Senator? He's a buffoon with his stupid grin. Now some say this may sound less than flattering. But there is a job suited for everyone out there.

Posted by: patrick10 | November 19, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Googlianni. I forgot about him.

Well, hell. That's just what the country needs. The cross dressing, incestuous, incompetent that mentored Bernie Kerik.


Posted by: captainkona | November 19, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Well lookie here - another bum from the recycle bin. How nice! That's some team the Republicans are putting together here. A Hewlett Packard has-been & Rudy. Republicans are on a roll.

Posted by: HemiHead66 | November 19, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Fascist coward. Cuomo would have eaten Rudy for lunch.

Posted by: rogied25 | November 19, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

WTG, Rudy!! Give 'em hell! Governor or Senator, you'll do a great job.

Posted by: priley8104 | November 19, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

After Sarah Palin this guy might be the most overrated, one-trick pony excuse for a political leader ever. He may have had some successes as a mayor, but basically he was a bully whose cronyism and judgment were beyond awful; and his presidential candidacy might have been the worst ever.

Posted by: jbentley4 | November 19, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I could see this happening. Gillibrand hasn't taken ownership of her seat, so I think this is a sound move for Giuliani.

O worry about his passing financial scrutiny. He has taken in a lot of money since 9-11 and there may be some time bombs there. Of course, there is also Mrs. Giuliani.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 19, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

This guy spent all of his credibility over 9000 months ago.

Posted by: Crucialitis | November 19, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Mindless predictable nastiness. The sane garbage the loons post hour after hour.
Posted by: snowbama | November 19, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse'

Then go away. No one forces you to come here every single day. Why do you? No one wants you here.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The only thing Giuliani was any good at was ordering people around, and doing executive stuff.

A Senator? From New York? No way, maybe he has to move to Mississippi or someplace like that. Not NY.

Posted by: kamdog | November 19, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"He ran for President in 2008, now he's running for Senate in 2010. By 2016 he'll be running for City Council.

And losing."

Posted by: Blarg



Posted by: Kelly14 | November 19, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse


I couldn't agree with you more. Giuliani has so many plusses AND minuses, perceptually, that it would be begging for an unnecessary defeat.

He'd be far better off raking in the $$ from Giuliani & Partners and kibitzing from the sidelines than risk defeat at the hands of Gillibrand. He's also to moderate to suit the current R. taste in candidates.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | November 19, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry armpeg speaking as a life long NYer there has always been a non-agression pact between Rudy Guiliani and the Cuomo's.

If Andrew Cuomo was not running Rudy would be a candidate for Gov.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | November 19, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to seeing Sarah Palin campaign against RINO Rudy after he stuck his entire head up her butt.

"Green Teeth" Hoffman for Senate 2010!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 19, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Rudy is a crook and is not going to win any race for anything.

He belongs in a cell, not the Senate.

Posted by: daveque | November 19, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

He ran for President in 2008, now he's running for Senate in 2010. By 2016 he'll be running for City Council.

And losing.

Posted by: Blarg | November 19, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Rudy Guiliani could win the NY Governor or the Senate race with little trouble, but he'll never win the GOP nomination for president.
Although I like Rudy and would vote for him, Rudy backing Democrap Socialist Party NY Gov. Mario Cuomo over the GOP candidate George Patacki, while he was Republican Mayor of NY, was a no-no to many in the GOP. Rudy probably did it because Mario and he are of Italian heritage, but in the political arena, that doesn't wash.

Posted by: armpeg | November 19, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Mindless predictable nastiness. The sane garbage the loons post hour after hour.

No wonder your readers are leaving in droves.

Posted by: snowbama | November 19, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

He's best fit to be bunk mate of his buddy Bernie Kerek.

He has major dead weight with that, his putting the command center in the Trace Center, against his own deputy mayors advice. He is a major black eye to the right wing, several affairs with staffers, the most recent we know of being his now home wrecker wife Judith.

Speaking of Judith, she looked all kinds of pissed at the Yankee World Series Game. Could it be she knows Rudy is shopping around for wife number four?

Mayor 9/11 will also have to deal with the recent elevation of the tea bagging birth party. As is seen with their displeasure with Crist in Florida, he's not exactly a poster boy for the right. After all, even his two kids did not back him for his last loss running for president.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | November 19, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

If not Rudy, then who? Gillibrand is vulnerable. Is George Pataki still considering a Senate bid?

Posted by: fugitivenyc | November 19, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

So Republicans are ready now to support a pro-choice, pro-gay rights candidate for governor?

It's painful to watch; hypocrisy as a national party strategy.

Posted by: bidalah | November 19, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Dancing with the Stars?

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 19, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Judge on American Idol?

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Impossible! He's a well-known RINO! And a coastal elite, to boot! Into the pit with him! Hoffman for Senator!

Posted by: nodebris | November 19, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

A follow-up question would be: if not Governor, what race would better suit Rudy's liking and abilities? Attorney General (and the apparent attendant perquisites)? Mayor again?

Posted by: mnteng | November 19, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"Our bet? Giuliani stays in the private sector, biding his time for a race that's a better fit."

Which is to say: Giuliani is waiting for a race where there isn't much chance he'd lose.


Posted by: bsimon1 | November 19, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Gillibrand is not that popular in NY as she is too far right and paterson, nobody loves. So that is a problem. But Rudy's endangerment of firefighters, police and rescuers left a bad taste in many New Yorker's mouths -- not to mention his serial adultery.

I just don't see how he could be it in his p*nts long enough to run for the Senate.

Posted by: drindl | November 19, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

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