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Major Mayor Giuliani flip-flop

Oh, give us a break, puh-leeze! Talk about a flip-flopper.

Last weekend GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani told conservatives at a family-values conference that they might disagree with him on a few things, some meaningless trivia like gun control and abortion. But, he noted, George Will called him a conservative and, Giuliani vowed, they would always know where he stood.

For two terms the Republican Giuliani was mayor of that self-important Gotham that sits where the Hudson River meets the Gowanus Canal to form the Atlantic Ocean. So where does the former New York mayor, lifelong Yankees fan, stand on the World Series?

He's cheering for the Red Sox. The Boston Red Sox. As in Boston, Massachusetts. Beantown. The place that traded away Babe Ruth for a case of beer or something.

Now, Giuliani happened to say this while he was campaigning in -- wait for it -- Boston. What is it about Massachusetts that infects politicians with flip-flop?

Cynics -- which we are not; we're skeptics -- might suspect that Giuliani was pandering to an audience of New Englanders, the way, say, someone named Hillary Clinton suddenly dumped her allegiance to her hometown Chicago Cubs and discovered her love for the Yankees when she ran for the Senate in New York, which happens to be home to the Yankees.

Giuliani adamantly denies this. He says when his Bronx boys got knocked out, he becomes a fan of the American League, which no doubt means he'll become a huge fan of the Indians come next fall when they squash his Yankees yet again.

Giuliani says he's no flip-flopping fan. "In Colorado in the next week or two," he says, "you will see, I will have the courage to tell the people of Colorado the same thing, that I am rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series." So much for any votes west of New Jersey.

Isn't it chilling to think that the future leaders of our surprisingly fragile democracy might be decided on the basis of such things? Interesting, but scary.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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