It was a week of high adventure as our Indiana Jones–like ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani formed an exploratory committee for a presidential run. Swashbuckling Establishment guy James Baker, who rescued the 2000 election for George W. Bush, was brave enough to suggest that Iran might help save the U.S. from its quagmire in Iraq. Safariwear aficionado Mahmoud Ahmadinejad replied that he’d prefer to blow Israel into thin air with his nukes-to-be, crowing that “we will soon witness its disappearance and destruction.”
Senator Joseph Lieberman, who laughed in the face of career death after being set adrift on a political Kon-Tiki by fellow Democrats, said he was “not ruling out” a switch to the GOP. Presumptive Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrestled with New York’s bearlike Charles Rangel over the choice of majority leader. Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer led an expeditionary force on an “economic-revitalization tour” into the wilds of upstate, an area he’d recently compared to Appalachia. Big-game art hunters bagged major works by Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol at auction; outside Scranton, Pennsylvania, poachers landed a priceless Goya en route to the Guggenheim. Publisher Judith Regan, continuing her quest to push the frontiers of bad taste, got O.J. Simpson to confess on TV to promote his book O.J.: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened. Naomi Campbell’s ex-maid, survivor of the world’s most dangerous aboveground job, accused the supermodel of being a “violent super-bigot,” with a distaste for Romanians.
The Mets, boldly going where no Big Apple baseball team had gone before, sold naming rights to their new Starship Enterprise-shaped ballpark to Citigroup for $400 million. The suddenly risk-averse Yankees were outplayed by the Red Sox in the pursuit of Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. And Paul Dudley, a pilot whose Cessna stalled, kept his Kiplingesque cool in nailing a perilous emergency landing in a city park. “Panic doesn’t get you anywhere but dead,” he explained.