Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wither Giuliani? The NYT takes a look.

Heres an extract:

Asked why Mr. Giuliani, now 61 and out of office, would put himself in a position to have to answer questions about his two failed marriages or the mob ties in his family, Ms. Mindel countered: "Does the public have the patience to even go through that again?"

Mr. Carbonetti, who served as Mr. Giuliani's chief of staff in City Hall, added that Mr. Giuliani would seek a measure of privacy, as he had in the past. "He would say that's part of his private life," Mr. Carbonetti said.

Officially, Mr. Giuliani is focused on the midterm elections: Mr. Carbonetti said he had stacks of phone messages and mail from campaigns and operatives asking for Mr. Giuliani to headline a fund-raiser, film a commercial, write a letter or go out to campaign. Asked for the number of requests, Ms. Mindel said, "We don't have that many fingers and toes."

Unofficially, of course, Mr. Carbonetti recognizes that the politicking in 2006 could easily become prologue for 2008. A founding partner and managing director at Giuliani Partners, a consulting and financial services firm, Mr. Carbonetti said his job was to present Mr. Giuliani with every option should he decide to run. These options flow partly from the chits and pledges of help and support that come as Mr. Giuliani helps fellow Republicans.

Mr. Giuliani's plans include holding a cocktail party in New York City this month for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and traveling to Iowa — which holds the first caucuses of the nominating season in 2008 — to campaign with Representative Jim Nussle, a candidate for governor, and spend time getting to know state party power brokers.

"The mayor sees them as helping keep our majority, and, of course, this is how you build relationships," Mr. Carbonetti said. "It's how you go out and learn about the issues in the rest of the country. Every time you touch down in another state, you have a brand-new set of issues that you didn't know about yesterday."

Most members of Mr. Giuliani's circle express optimism that the political landscape in 2008 will be hospitable to a candidate with Mr. Giuliani's background and expertise. Significantly, several friends say, Mr. Giuliani's wife, Judith Nathan, has made clear that she strongly supports the idea of his running for president.

"If the issues in 2008 are the war on terror and leadership, Rudy scores a 10," said Vincent A. LaPadula, who was an official in the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations and is now an investment banker. "The only other person in that class is Senator McCain." Senator John McCain of Arizona is considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.


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