Today, New York is the Island at the center of the political universe. The headlines in the hometown newspapers say it all. Three New Yorkers stand on top of the heap of would-be presidents.
The news blares that Mayor Bloomberg has quit the GOP. The punditocracy is chattering about the 2008 presidential race being thrown to the House of Representatives. The papers are also featuring the Clintons nod to the Sopranos, with Hillary picking the tunes on the diner jukebox and Bill munching on carrots instead of onion rings. The WASP dons, with HRC playing Tony.
Life imitates art. But, David Chase already knew that.
Right now, Ms. Clinton has a comfortable lead over the junior senator from Illinois and Rudy clings to a lead over Fred Thompson in most polls. However, the shadow of a Bloomberg candidacy spotlights the shortcomings of both Rudy and Hillary.
Bloomberg reminds New Yorkers and the nation that Hilary is a poseur, a grifter armed with a tin cup and a distorted sense of aggrandizement and entitlement. One Clinton backer claimed a Bloomberg candidacy would be “disrespectful” to Her Majesty. Sorta like disrespecting the Bing, I guess.
As for Rudy, Mike Bloomberg reminds America’s Mayor of whom he is not. Unlike Bloomberg, Rudy is has not mastered the art of being a balanced grown up. The video of Giuliani screaming at the crowd on election night 1989 and yelling profanities at a demonstration reminds the viewer that
Bloomberg has already rattled Team Giuliani. One only needs to look as far as Guy Molinari’s reaction to Bloomberg. Molinari is the former Staten Island Congressman and Borough President who is now a leading Giuliani backer. Molinari told the New York Post that a Bloomberg candidacy is personally disturbing, and compared it to being stepped on and snubbed. Molinari also warned it could get nasty.
This is a refrain I have already heard from others close to the mayor.
What will Giuliani’s backers do? Sick the ghost of Harold Giuliani, Rudy’s late father and former Sing Sing resident, on Mayor Mike? Have the Daily News’ Michael Goodwin (husband of a Giuliani appointee and policy director of Rudy’s failed 1989 bid) call Bloomberg a liberal?
As today’s papers all make clear, Rudy has other problems. Newsday reports that the Rudettes do not deny that Rudy quit the Iraq Study Group to earn more by delivering speeches, apparently dissing ISG Co-chair and former Secretary of State James A. Baker 3d in the process.
Also, according to the latest Rasmussen poll, Rudy lags behind Fred Thompson among registered Republicans, while Giuliani’s South Carolina Chair is under federal indictment for conspiring to traffic cocaine, and his Iowa Chair is going to the Office of Management and Budget.
As a mayor, Bloomberg has not been groundbreaking. But he has kept crime down without the confrontation and aftertaste that Giuliani left. And unlike Hillary, he did not beg for bucks, misplace law firm records, cover-up his investments, or hock pardons.
The mature center belongs to Bloomberg.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here