Giuliani forgoes Senate, governor races to focus on enterprises

Giuliani confirmed Tuesday that he would not be running for the US Senate or governor of New York. His main reason: He's busily involved in his security enterprise and law firm.

Frances M. Roberts/Newscom
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (r.) announces he will not run for political office in 2010 on Tuesday in New York. At the announcement, Giuliani endorsed Republican Rick Lazio for governor.

In theory, Rudolph Giuliani was at the Sheraton New York to endorse Republican Rick Lazio’s run for governor of New York.

In reality, Mr. Giuliani talked about ... Rudy.

The former New York mayor confirmed that he would not be running for the US Senate or, obviously, the governorship. His main reason: He’s too busy running his enterprises, Giuliani Security & Safety and a 70-person law firm.

“It’s [the security firm] grown significantly this year and has significant commitments next year,” said Giuliani, while Mr. Lazio stood next to him. “It makes it impossible to run.”

For example, Giuliani’s security firm was recently hired as a consultant for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He quipped that he couldn’t run for office from Brazil.

For a while, Giuliani said, he thought he could juggle all the commitments and still run for office. Indeed, a month ago, reports came out that Giuliani was close to deciding that he would run against US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) of New York.

But, he said, winning the Brazil contract around Thanksgiving proved to be the deciding factor. At that point, he said, he called Lazio to offer his endorsement. They agreed to wait a few weeks for the actual announcement of the endorsement.

But the feisty former mayor did not rule out a run for office another time. In four years, when he would be close to 70 years old, he will determine whether he has the energy to enter a political race, he said. “I’m not ruling anything out,” he told reporters.

In the meantime, Giuliani said, he will keep a toe in the political waters by helping other candidates. He specifically mentioned he would be open to helping candidates in Florida and Texas and in a number of races in New England.

Some political commentators, however, think Giuliani’s political career is over. “In order to jump-start any presidential dreams, he needs to win something,” says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Poll. “He has not won anything since 1997, and that’s a long time in politics.”

Of course, in politics, anything is possible. Politicians considered “yesterday’s news” have managed to get elected.

Richard Nixon rewrote the book about comebacks,” says John Zogby, head of the polling firm Zogby International, which is based in Utica, N.Y. “But it is more likely that this is it.”

Without running for office, Giuliani still can show up on Sunday talk shows to pontificate. He can go to fundraisers without a desperate look in his eyes. He can attend New York Yankees games without worrying about insulting Mets fans. And he can make as much money as he wants from his consulting business without needing to file public-disclosure forms.

Of course, Rudy being Rudy – someone who relishes a political fight – he regrets that he’s not running for something. “I would have enjoyed it,” he said.


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