The shock waves resulting from Rudy Giuliani’s decision not to run for governor in New York State in 2010 are most immediate in Albany but they are also being felt as far south as Washington, D.C. Giuliani may have recognized that the road to the Executive Mansion could have been blocked by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Giuliani trails Cuomo by 10 percentage points in today’s Marist Poll.
But, what if this executive can-do former NYC mayor decides to join the legislative branch and make a run for U.S. Senate instead? Here, his prospects are far brighter. In a matchup against New York’s junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Giuliani leads her by 54% to 40%. A Senate win for Giuliani in this heavily Democratic state would be a huge national story. It would also be an equally huge embarrassment for the Obama White House. It could even rekindle any hopes Giuliani has about another presidential run.
Rudy Giuliani is a marquee name in GOP circles in New York. But, if he harbors any presidential aspirations, he needs to win something. His last electoral success was his re-election as NYC mayor in 1997… a lifetime ago in politics. His on-again, off-again campaign in 2000 and his truncated run for the White House in 2008 raise serious doubts about his electoral viability.
Yet, this may turn out to be a stroke of political acumen for team Rudy. A decision by Giuliani to run for the U.S. Senate may ultimately shake things up nationally as much as his decision to pull out of the race for governor has altered the political landscape in Albany.