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‘Times’ Offers Definitive Non-Proof of Giuliani Plot

So, was there really a Mob plot to kill Giuliani in the eighties? Rudy's certainly reaping the reward — the ability to say, with a weary smirk, that it's all in a day's job. Let, then, the polite underminers at the Times take you on a journey of noncommittal skepticism, as only the Gray Lady can. Herewith, our paragraph-by-paragraph anatomy of today's very gentle hit.

Mob Allowed Giuliani to Live, Wear Leather Vests

giuliani '86
This bit of today's news will undoubtedly be welcome in the Giuliani campaign HQ: Yesterday, a witness at a trial mentioned a mob-boss summit in the fall of 1986 where a hit on Rudy Giuliani was seriously discussed. The Gambinos wanted the pesky prosecutor dead; the Bonannos demurred. Giuliani lived to milk his landmark Mafia investigation all the way to City Hall — and now he can easily squeeze it for an additional bio-burnishing PR tidbit as a presidential … sorry, what were we saying? We can't concentrate because we're staring at the bewildering photo of '86-era Rudy that accompanies the story. What's that look he's going for? It's like … a leather-daddy Woody Allen with Paul Simon's hair. Forget the crime-fighting cred: Rudy better hope this story doesn't get any traction. Court Told Mob Bosses Voted on Whacking Giuliani In '86 [NYDN]

Rangel Actually Embarrassed by Something

Congressman Charlie Rangel has always had a sharp tongue, and now he seems to be putting it at the service, so to speak, of Hillary Clinton: Yesterday, he rolled out exactly the kind of red-meat attack on the GOP candidate field that Clinton (whom Rangel supports) would be far too civil to launch. “Two people, six spouses,” Rangel told CNN, referring to the total number of marriages between Rudy Giuliani and Judith Nathan. “It’s a little complicated if you’re not religious, especially if you’re running against a Mormon.” He added: “There are enough moles on this man that embarrasses those of us who have sought public life.” Wow. First of all, we’re not sure where Rangel was going with the Mitt Romney crack, but it wasn’t anywhere good. And second, moles? Those are not moles — they’re weasels! Rangel: Giuliani ‘Embarrasses Us’ [CNN]

Hero Mayor Saves Hero Cop

Super Bloomie
Not only does Mayor Bloomberg earn valuable PR points by riding the subway to work — he also saves lives. Sort of. When a rider went berserk on the 4 train yesterday afternoon, a transit cop from the mayor’s entourage promptly took him down. Touchingly, it’s the cop, Frank Zaluk, who credits Bloomberg with saving his life, and not the other way around. You see, Zaluk would have been on the 3 p.m. Staten Island Ferry in October 2003 — the one that crashed into a pier, killing ten — if not for Mike, who needed additional security detail to ride the 4 train to a Yankees game that day. So there you have it: A New York City mayor becomes a hero just by standing around at the right time. Related: Giuliani’s Lead Widens [Time] Mayor Bloomberg Safe As Madman Attacks Transit Cop [NYDN]

Giuliani Wins NASCAR Support That Spitzer Deserves

Today we learned that Rudy Giuliani is the favored presidential candidate of Jeff Gordon and several other NASCAR superstars whose names we didn't recognize but whose support may open up a huge southern Christian demographic for the thrice-divorced Catholic Brooklynite. It’s the most popular sport in the country, people! We dutifully checked HuffPo’s indispensable FundRace tool, and, indeed, there it was: Gordon’s $2,300 contribution to the Rudy campaign (offset slightly by Riverside Drive’s Jeff Gordon, a Columbia professor, throwing $250 at Hillary).

Giuliani Trash-Talks the City He Supposedly Cleaned Up

Today in the Times, Adam Nagourney does a great job describing the awkward dance presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani performs around his supposed main achievement (other than looking good on 9/11): cleaning up New York. Rudy's dilemma is that the scarier and dirtier the city sounds, the better he comes across for having “tamed” it. This tack has one obvious drawback — it's insulting to people who actually live here — but it plays like gangbusters with the New York transplant crowd Giuliani is courting in Florida and elsewhere. Still, should he get the GOP nomination and keep up the NYC trash talk, we're facing the bizarre possibility of a national back-and-forth on whether New York as inherited by Giuliani from Dinkins was as awful a cloaca as Rudy depicts it.

Bono Would Totally Hate Giuliani Bud Paul Singer

Over the last week, we noticed what looked like a pretty well-organized effort to smear Hillary Clinton by getting at her advisers and donors. Guess what — it works both ways. The Democrats would like to direct your attention to one Mr. Paul Singer, who is both donor and adviser to Republican presidential front-runner Rudy Giuliani. Singer runs Elliott Associates, an investment firm that specializes in so-called “vulture funds” (i.e. buying up Third World debt at a discount, thus mucking up the global issue of debt forgiveness). How unsavory, if legal, is Singer? Let the DNC count the ways…

Giuliani (Almost) Weasels Out of Ferret Story

The hunt for Rudy Giuliani's weak spot is on. Hillary Clinton — who's leading the mayor 51 to 43 percent in the latest poll (people! They haven't been nominated yet!) — goes right after Giuliani's handling of 9/11. He may have had all the photo ops, her new ad reminds us without naming the opponent, but she was the one who stood by ailing first responders. It ties in nicely with her health-care initiative and delivers an oblique slap. Today's Times takes a different tack. In what might prove a genius move, the paper has begun combing through the trove of Rudy's radio archives. Back in the late nineties, the mayor had his own show, and it was not, as you may imagine, the docile fireside chat we get from Bloomberg.

Giuliani Eats Up Sandwich Man’s Cheesy Signs

You're an ex–New York City mayor running for president, and your opponents accuse you of being too soft on illegal immigration. Of course you're soft on illegal immigration — how else would you have run New York? Sadly, that line of reasoning is not going to play well in the kind of town where they haven't seen a Mexican since Charlton Heston played one in Touch of Evil, which is precisely the kind of town you need to win over. What do you do?

It's Goya For Gioia

20070510heds_small.jpg • Queens Councilman Eric Gioia is living his own version of Supersize Me: as an awareness-raising stunt, he will spend one week on a $28 food budget (the average food-stamp allotment). His strategy: lots of peanut butter and beans. [NYDN] • So, what do we know about the Fort Dix Six? Three of them belonged to an Albanian family (more of a clan, we suppose, with 200 members in the U.S. alone) that owns roofing businesses in New York and New Jersey. The other two, a Palestinian and a Turk, lived in Philly; the sixth man, a self-described Kosovar sniper, remains a mystery. [NYT] • Just as Murdoch's Dow Jones–related news presence was waning, the mogul comes up with a doozy of an announcement: He will take News Corp. carbon-neutral. For instance, 24 will use biodiesel generators to film its deranged right-wing torture fantasies. No, seriously. [NYP] • Rudy Giuliani won't comment on Pope Benedict XVI's statement that all politicians who support abortion rights should be excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Which is probably a good idea: Given Rudy's recent record, not much good comes from his commenting on, well, anything. [amNY] • And, the city's about to stop its insanely popular subway-themed condom and lubricant giveaway because "it is unclear whether the condoms are reaching target groups." The Health Department hasn't ruled out launching a different brand. We suggest the "Old Times Square" theme. [Kaiser Network]