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N.Y. politics turns nasty -- so what's the news?

October 26, 2009 |  9:10 am

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani looks like he's having a great time lately, stumping for successor Michael Bloomberg's who-cares-about-term-limits third term. Just Sunday, Giuliani got a standing ovation from an audience of orthodox Jews in Brooklyn when he predicted that if Bloomberg doesn't win, crime in New York could soar, turning the city into another Detroit.

Detroit went from a great city with lots of good-paying jobs to a city that’s basically holding on for dear life,” Giuliani told the Boro Park Jewish Community at a Bloomberg rally. If William Thompson, an African American, is elected, Giuliani intoned, crime will escalate to levels not seen since the early 1990s. "You know exactly what I’m talking about,” he said.

No worries on that front apparently. With one week to go before the election, the Quinnipiac Poll reports that Bloomberg leads his rival by 18 points. "It's been shaping up all along, and now the new numbers say it looks like a Bloomberg blowout," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

A popular former mayor who was dubbed "America's mayor" for his handling of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Giuliani has long eyed a race for higher office. He almost ran for the Senate against Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2000, but, diagnosed with prostate cancer, elected to wait. Last year, he ran for the Republican presidential nomination, dropping out early and throwing his support to John McCain.

Now, with Gov. David Paterson far behind in the polls and President Obama signaling that he does not support the governor, all bets are off. Giuliani is said to be weighing a bid for the job. But so is ambitious state Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo, son of a former governor, who is so eager not to run against Giuliani that he reportedly sent a secret emissary to warn Rudy off the race.

"Rudy doesn't want to run against Andrew, and he has been told Andrew is running," one Democrat told the New York Post. The news was described as a brass-knuckles message between "friends."

Hey, it's New York.

-- Johanna Neuman

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