Yesterday Rudy Giuliani joined Joe Lhota on the campaign trail, visiting two senior centers in Staten Island. Giuliani was the dominant presence, touting his record and the changes he wrought on the City as mayor while slamming Bill de Blasio. He also fired off the occasional plug in support of Joe Lhota.
Giuliani and Lhota held two press conferences, one at each stop. This excerpt from their first stop, in Great Kills, captures Giuliani’s message.
Update – Zeroes for Heroes:
In this clip, Rudy Giuliani focuses on the importance of an “independent” mayor, describing “20 years of mayors who’ve been able to say, if it was bad for the city, go to hell.” In describing the value of a “mayor independent of these unions”, Giuliani noted that Lhota “helped negotiate” the municipal union contracts that included two years of no raises – the “double zero” or “zeroes for heroes” contracts of 1995 and 1996.
Update #2 – A Changed City:
The Lhota campaign has not fully figured out how to deal with Mayor Bloomberg. At times Lhota is complimentary of Bloomberg, even highly so. At other times, on particular issues, Lhota can be highly critical. Lhota seems pulled between the reality that he needs Bloomberg-likers as the basic component of any winning coalition he could hope to assemble and his need to offer something new or different. He’s never embraced the role of an unequivocal Bloomberg supporter, and whether a cause or an effect, Bloomberg has reciprocated.
The late reemergence of Mayor Giuliani reminds us of how the city has changed since he left office. Among the many ways that it’s changed are the city’s demographics, expectations of how government should operate and in where political power rests.
I asked Mayor Giuliani how he thinks the city has changed since he left office, and how he thinks that may affect the next mayor.