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Dan Collins

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Is Rudy Giuliani Ready for Celebrity Apprentice?

Posted: 08/17/11 01:00 PM ET

Rudy Giuliani appeared on CNN this week and said he's given himself until the end of September to decide if he should run for president.

Take your time, Rudy. A month, a year, a decade. The world can wait.

Giuliani was on the Piers Morgan show, and it could have been a fascinating exchange between the two: the guy who wanted to make disgraced-and-then-imprisoned Bernie Kerik the head of Homeland Security and the guy who was once fired from a British tabloid for bad judgment surely could have traded career regrets.

Such a missed opportunity. Also, Giuliani, who's slid from American icon to American yawn over the past ten years, might have profited from some tips from Morgan on how to maximize a season on Celebrity Apprentice. Honest, listening to the former mayor yammer on about the president (always wrong) and the candidates for the Republican nomination (all great), it did feel like the next stop was Donald Trump and reality TV.

"You know, I think that Governor Perry's record as governor of Texas is an excellent one. Ten years of excellent management," Giuliani said. "He has kind of the background that President Obama lacked. But Michele Bachmann and Governor Romney also have things to argue in their favor. I'm a close friend of Rick Santorum.

"So, I have -- there are a lot of -- and Newt Gingrich may be the single smartest guy in the entire race."

What, no plug for the Godfather's Pizza guy?

Listening to Giuliani, I had two thoughts. One is that in a year when the big political news is the Republican presidential primary, New York is completely out of the loop. We've barely got a Republican standing in the state. When all you're left with is Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki dropping hints that they might, just might, be available in New Hampshire, it's hard to imagine how we could become more irrelevant. New Yorkers, this is what it feels like to be North Dakota.

The second thought is that this is what the American political-celebrity circuit can do to a guy. I haven't been a fan of Giuliani's since his first mayoral run, but up until he left City Hall, he was always interesting. Even at the end of his tenure, when he was melting down faster than the Wicked Witch of the West, the guy had an energy that made him intriguing to watch.

And lately, listening to the big debate over whether the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey can raise the tolls over the Hudson River to pay for the cost overruns at Ground Zero, I couldn't help wishing for Mayor Giuliani in his prime. Giuliani hated the Port Authority. He wanted to invade the Port Authority, take the Port Authority prisoner, and put it on trial for war crimes. His critique never made much sense but it was certainly diverting. The layers of bureaucrats at the PA weren't improved by his hysteria, but at least he made them uncomfortable.

Very long odds that anybody will ever be made uncomfortable by Rudy Giuliani again. He has no interesting opinions -- no opinions at all, it seems, except whatever the Republican conventional wisdom dictates. He has no use for Democrats, but it's not such a big deal that you're going to see him get all hot and bothered over it. He's sleek and boring -- a literal fat cat trotting through his paces whenever cable TV summons him.

Maybe Celebrity Apprentice would be too much of a stretch. Rudy would probably be napping in the boardroom.

Correction: An earlier version of this post identified the Daily Mirror as a Rupert Murdoch tabloid. This has since been corrected.