Rudy The Red Republican Senator In Democrat Blue New York ?

Bookmark and Share    Politicos are painting a picture that will allow New York state to become a battleground state in next year’s midterm elections. A number of established Albany insiders who forecast the political climate like Al Roker giving the weekly weather, are indicating that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will be seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Kirsten Gillibrand.

The unelected Gillibrand was appointed by the doomed replacement governor for Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson. She replaced Hillary Clinton after President Obama tapped her for Secretary of State. In 2000 Clinton became the carpetbag senator in an attempt to use New York as her launch pad to the presidency.

Some are suggesting that Rudy, who unlike Hillary is a New Yorker, has similar plans as the former First Lady.

One of the state’s most insightful political gossip columnists, Fred Dicker recently reported that an unnamed state Republican official sees the US Senate as a national platform that will enable the former mayor to become a leading voice on issues like homeland security and defense. The thought being that with such a stage to shine on, particularly regarding those issues, Rudy could become a more viable candidate for President in 2012 than he was in 2008.

That may be pretty difficult.

Rudy is too liberal for the national party. That and the fact that his political team are lacking of any decent organizational abilities or political savvy would make Rudy an early casualty in the 2012 primaries for the Republican presidential nomination, just as he was in 2008. By Fred Dicker’s account, in regards to Rudy, one prominent New York Republican stated

“He has a terrible political organization: His people are nasty and vindictive — not a good combination — and I hear he’s pretty upset with the advice he got on all of this”.

This is true. I have had the opportunity, the unfortunate opportunity, to work with many of them and all I can say is, they were part of the reason why Rudy lost his first race for Mayor in 1989.

The fact that Giuliani is, to say the least, lacking in a competent campaign organization, requires that Rudy consider a talented organization behind him…….and a unified one. That is why if Rudy wants to further his political career he may just have to go with what is being offered and right now, the New York Senate seat is being offered to him by New York Republicans.

Even though Giuliani opposed the election of the state’s new GOP Chairman, Ed Cox, the son-in-law of Richard Nixon, Cox is being smart. He knows that the current Attorney General and son of former popular Governor Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo is likely to be the Democrat nominee for Governor. They are aware that Cuomo may be undefeatable in the existing atmosphere. So the New York GOP is preparing to forego any large investment in the race for Governor. Instead they hope to take back some down ticket races such as State Comptroller and possibly one of the two US Senate seats up for grabs in 2010.

Removing Chuck Schumer may be difficult but defeating novice statewide candidate Gillibrand is not. Not if Rudy is her opponent. So the New York Republican organization is willing to get behind Rudy andoffer them some the organizational talent and support that he lacks. They are also urging Rudy to take them up on the offer.

Whether Giuliani wants to run for President or not, a bid for the senate seat occupied by Gillibrand is a logical option for him if he truly wants to try and provide New York and the nation with his leadership and expertise. Polls show that Rudy can beat Gillibrand in hypothetical match-ups. Such is not the case in the race for Governor, an office actually more suited for the Mussolini in Giuliani.

Rudy is not exactly a “team player” and no matter how “independent” one may proclaim themselves to be, membership in exclusive clubs such as state legislatures, or either branch of Congress, require a certain amount of getting along with other people who each believe they are better than the other and know better than the other.

Rudy is not known for his diplomacy. He is known for getting things on his own setting the agenda. For him to try to work on an agenda not set by him, will take a lot of getting use to on his part. Being a US Senator is a far cry from being a member of the US Senate. Rudy will find that few if any of his colleagues will come to his office to kiss his ring. But if Rudy is sincere and if he really believes that he could offer up a strong voice for New Yorkers, than he should run. But not as a stepping stone for the presidency of the United States.

Fred Dicker and several other sources claim that Rudy has already made the decision to run against Gillibrand for the senate. I am inclined to believe that, but I am not betting on it.

Giuliani is a bit erratic and before he ultimately pulled out of the race for the Republican nomination to the US Senate in 2000, it took him a long time to originally get into the race. He was very apprehensive about running against former First Lady Hillary Clinton. So I don’t think his running for the Senate is a done deal. To add to that doubt, one must consider the words of Tony Carbonetti, a close aide to Giuliani who was once one of his deputy mayors. Carbonetti claims that all we are hearing is just speculation and that if we really want to know what Rudy is doing, wait until Rudy tells you. Carbonetti notes, that the former mayor is not shy and if he decides to run, he will be sure to let us all know about it.

As for me, I am ambivalent.

Rudy was a great mayor and he did a wonderful job in one of the most difficult jobs in America. He turned new York City around in everyway from appearance and economy to education and crime. There is no denying Rudy’s greatness. But I do not know how well his mayoral experience would translate into that same type of extraordinary leadership in the US Senate. I am also not a fan of electing someone simply because they call themselves a Republican. Dede Scozzafava, Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins come to mind as just a few Republicans who may just as well be Democrats…..Oh wait, Arlen finally came out of the closet and admitted to being one. Anyway, the point is, unless Rudy is really prepared to advance the Republicans principles that make one a Republican and keep us a strong nation, than I will not be going out of my way to lend a hand to a Giuliani campaign for the Senate.

If he were to begin to take a conservative direction and his seat made the difference between taking back control of the Senate, reluctantly, I’ll be there. But until then, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for his official decision or for the turn to the right he still needs to make.

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