The New York Daily News is reporting that after months of speculation, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani will not run for governor of New York, but instead run in 2010 for the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Further speculation postulates that he’d use that as a stepping-stone to run for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2012, but I think that ship has sailed already.
With Giuliani out of the race, the leading GOP candidate is little known Rep. Rick Lazio, who at this point would likely lose to the Democratic frontrunner Andrew Cuomo, although current NY Gov. David Paterson has sworn to run after railing against White House insinuations that he drop out.
Giuliani is polling better against Gillibrand than Cuomo, but running for Senate just makes more sense to me on a gut level for some reason. The article insinuates that Giuliani feels that he would be able to make an impact as governor, though I’m not sure what kind of immediate impact he’d make as a Senator – beyond galvanizing moderate and centrist support for a Republican message of fiscal responsibility and strong national defense and dispelling any notions that moderates aren’t welcome in the Republican Party.
Social conservatives may have issue with Giuliani’s stands on abortion and gay rights – quite frankly, I don’t, and disagreement on those issues shouldn’t overshadow Giuliani’s strength in other policy areas, his appeal and his effectiveness as an executive. Since I live in Ohio I have absolutely no voting influence whatsoever on the Senate and governor’s races in the Empire State. Still, I think this would be a great move for Giuliani and the New York GOP, but it’s all supposition at this point anyway.