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Plum jobs dance in Rudy’s head

December 28, 1998

On the night before Christmas, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani summoned his key advisers to City Hall.

These included his counsel Dennison Young Jr., his deputy Joe Lhota, his communications director Cristyne Lategano, his police commissioner Howard Safir and his adviser Marilyn Mode. Unfortunately, Safir forgot his I.D. and the cop in the blocker car at the barricade to City Hall didn't recognize him. The cop, however, recognized Mode's wee white dog Lil in the back seat and let Safir pass.

"The reason I have called you here," the mayor began, "is to discuss my future plans. Actually, I have decided them. I will run for the Senate."

Led by the loyal Denny Young, the group broke into applause. Safir jumped up and shouted, "Go after your opponent the way I went after the Kung Sa." The Kung Sa was an Asian drug lord Safir claimed he'd hunted as a federal drug agent. His predecessor Bill Bratton, whom Safir had termed "some airport cop from Boston," noted that so far as he recalled, the Kung Sa was never captured.

Suddenly, the loyal Denny let out a sob. "But Mr. Mayor, if you become Senator, you can't be mayor anymore."

"Don't cry, Denny," said the mayor. "I have studied the situation. There is nothing to prevent me from serving as Senator while remaining mayor. I will be known as Mayor Rudolph / Senator Giuliani."

Loyal Denny brightened. He led the group into a second round of applause.

"You'll go after them the way I went after the Kung Sa," shouted Safir. Lhota thought to himself, "Is this guy nuts or what?"

Nonetheless, Safir's shouting appeared to energize the mayor. "I want to run against Hillary," he also shouted. "I'll go after her and her philandering husband."

There was a silence in the room.

"Er, let's change the subject," he said after about 30 seconds. Instead, he began talking about Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox television station employs the mayor's wife, Donna Hanover, who has not been seen publicly with the mayor in more than a year. Loyal Denny recalled watching the mayor on national television at the World Series, seated with Murdoch and Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. Murdoch, who had recently purchased the L.A. Dodgers, was wearing a baseball cap and fidgeting.

"I am now going to tell you something confidential," the mayor then told his staff. Everyone leaned forward. "It was I who persuaded Rupert not to bid for Bernie Williams. I'm the reason he signed with the Yankees."

Led by Loyal Denny, the group again broke into applause. Lhota thought, "Are these people nuts or what?"

Printable version"Rupert told me he hates baseball," the mayor added. "He knows as much about it as I do about kangaroos. He told me Mike Piazza is worth less than Dunleavy.

(Piazza recently signed a $91-million contract with the Mets. Dunleavy earns slightly less at the Post.)

"Rupert has made me a promise," Giuliani continued.

"So, this was what the mayor had been leading up to," thought Loyal Denny. Had Rupert agreed to back him for both mayor and senator?

"Rupert has promised me he will not bid for Roger Clemens," said the mayor. "I have communicated this to George. If the Yankees sign him, it will be because of me."

Loyal Denny was so startled he began applauding again. Safir shouted, "George should go after Clemens the way I went after the Kung Sa."

"Howard," sighed Lategano.

"Now, this is what I am going to do," said the mayor, rubbing his hands. Everyone felt the tension, even Lil. She barked and took a nip out of Lategano's ankle. Lategano gave Mode a dirty look, then while no one was looking, gave Lil a kick.

"Recently, while campaigning down South for my fellow Republicans," the mayor began, "I met secretly with George."

George! Loyal Denny could contain himself no longer. That could be only George W. Bush, the possible Republican presidential candidate in 2000. Could that mean the mayor would be his vice president?

"George has agreed that I will become president!"

Loyal Denny felt faint. His last words before passing out were, "Mayor Rudolph / Senator Giuliani / President Rudolph Giuliani!"

Lhota thought, "These people are all insane."

"Denny," the mayor continued, looking up at the ceiling and beyond as Young slumped on the floor, "being mayor or senator has always been secondary. My goal, my dream, has always been the presidency. And now George has made it possible. You are right, Denny. Mayor Rudolph / Senator Giuliani / President Rudolph Giuliani. President of the New York Yankees."

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© 1998 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.