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Michael Wolff

Michael Wolff

Posted: December 23, 2009 11:16 AM

Is This, Finally, the End of Rudy Giuliani?

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It certainly feels like we dodged another bullet, Rudy deciding not to run for governor or for senator.

But it seems suspicious, too. Why would he huff and puff about his designs, first on the governor's race and then on the Senate seat, and then, with a whimper, shrug his shoulders and withdraw?

What's up his sleeve?

Is this a feint? A brand-building exercise? A reflexive bid for attention? Just more incomprehensible and nutty Rudy stuff?

Certainly the man has always done a bizarre amount of thinking out loud. So what we may have here is an inside glimpse at the ambivalence of ambition. He wants it, he dreams about it, or, anyway, believes he should want it and is a little haunted by it, but, in the end, it's a lot of work. And, even for Rudy, who's always prided himself on giving more than he gets, it's got to be tough to think about taking another public pummeling.

Still, it's almost impossible to imagine him being done, that now, at 65, he's preparing for elder statesman status or even retirement. Floating himself the way he's been doing is, reasonably, a way to reassure himself that it's not over. He could do it if he wanted. He could! He's still in play. He's still the killer name. Just the whisper of it changes everybody else's plans. The president virtually fired the sitting governor of New York because the White House got scared about Rudy running. Right?

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