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Jewish World Review May 11, 2000 / 6 Iyar, 5760

Chris Matthews

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Consumer Reports


Giuliani's travels -- ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Mayor Rudolph Giuliani now faces dangers on two fronts.

In the true world of life, he confronts at 55 a doctor's report of prostate cancer. In the parallel world of politics, it's evident that his center-right coalition, once broader and more powerful than Ronald Reagan's, is exploding asunder.

The New York City mayor's first concern is medical. Like other men his age, he must decide what to do about his early-stage cancer. Only then can he decide on if and how he can pull together the political elements to defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the U.S. Senate race.

"I think it would be irresponsible for me to make a decision before I spend time figuring out the correct treatment and what it's going to mean," he said in a TV interview here last week. "I've never been faced with a choice like this before."

That's for sure.

For if Giuliani chooses to carry on with his campaign, which he seems to be doing, he must consolidate all those political elements that would be likely to back his tough-on-crime, take-back-the-streets, "You talkin' to me!" politics in a face-off with Hillary Clinton's "It takes a village" liberalism.

In the process of uniting the anybody-but-"her" factions, Giuliani looks like that famous hero of Jonathan Swift's. He is Gulliver traveling the Empire State, besieged by all the dwarfs of the New York right and center. This can be problematic in a state where political power is divided among not two parties but several: Republican, Democratic, Conservative, Right-to-Life, Liberal and Independence.

The chief of the conservative party, Michael Long, wants to deny Giuliani his party's nomination, which has proved in the past to be essential to a Republican win statewide.

Long gives two reasons: first, that the mayor is down the line pro-choice on abortion rights; second, that he expects to receive the nomination of the much smaller Liberal party.

Giuliani's hopes of grabbing the nomination of the Independence party, the New York affiliate of the Perot-created Reform party, also appear doomed. He says that he would have to think "long and hard" about appearing on a ticket led by the oddball, right-left duo of Patrick J. Buchanan and Lenora Fulani.

While Giuliani hopes to win the Liberal-party endorsement, thanks to friendship and patronage, he hasn't a prayer of the Right to Life endorsement.

This leaves this 21st century Gulliver having to take on the celebrated Hillary from the left with one hand while he uses the other to fend off the midgets from the right and center.

Even a feisty guy, gutsy enough to detect and confront cancer early, might find all this just a bit too much.

JWR contributor Chris Matthews is the author of Hardball. and hosts a CNBC show of the same name. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


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05/03/00: Show of force!
05/01/00: Abortion polls don't reflect reality
04/28/00: Bill Russell and American racism
04/24/00: Vietnam 25 -- The good, bad and ugly
04/19/00: Nader's threat to Gore in California
04/17/00: Berkeley politician visits with Elian's father
04/14/00: Clinton and the Castro curse
04/11/00: Men who saved Elián from the sea
04/06/00: Caine should coach politicians
04/03/00: No. 2 spots: Woman-to-woman?
03/29/00: Gray for veep and Gore might coast to victory
03/27/00: The secret life of a CIA wife
03/22/00: 'We're suckers for underdogs'
03/20/00: Bush's California dream vs. reality
03/06/00: Scary Gore vs. hopeful Bush
03/06/00: McCain's appeal to 'Reagan Democrats'
03/01/00: John McCain fits a hero's profile
02/28/00: Grading the American presidents
02/25/00: Clinton remains No. 1 issue
02/23/00: Will Ross Perot aid POW McCain?
02/18/00: McCain faces fury of GOP establishment
02/17/00: Citizen Springer
02/14/00: McCainia and the frisky independents
02/07/00: A prime-time primary for California
02/02/00: Clinton's final campaign: Take the blame
01/31/00: Which GOPer is willing to pay for his positions?
01/27/00: John McCain's gay radar
01/25/00: This time, candidates get 'authenticity' check
01/18/00: AIDS dooms 1 in 4 in tiny Swaziland
01/13/00: Complacency might be the campaign key
01/10/00: A choice, not an echo
01/06/00: The role of a lifetime
01/03/00: Dangers in Gore's dirty war
12/30/99: Churchill's fighting words saved the century
12/28/99: Candidate Gore's separation anxiety
12/17/99: Catch 22: Leading candidates don't lead
12/17/99: New Democratic leader on the horizon
12/15/99: Is Hillary clueless?
12/08/99: Taking Buchananism to the streets
12/03/99: Why are we so obsessed with 'spin'?
12/01/99: Donald Trump, 'Sinatra of Steel'
11/29/99: Why AlGore will be our next president
11/23/99: After the fall
11/17/99: Our conveniently forgetful president
11/15/99: Next president: Male, WASP, self-selected
11/10/99: Backroom Bill
11/08/99: Please don't feed the 'pander bears'
11/03/99: Battle of the Bubba clones
11/01/99: Pat Buchanan, kamikaze candidate
10/27/99: The year of the woman... voter
10/25/99: The Curse of the Bubba
10/21/99: GOP gives Clinton his finest hour
10/18/99: Clinton's last hurrah
10/13/99: Rough seas for Capt. Ventura
10/11/99: Gore targets Bradley's strength
10/06/99: Bradley's got the right Rx
10/04/99: Buchanan, Churchill and Hitler
09/30/99: Who'll spin political gold in Golden State — Gore or Bradley?
09/27/99: Here's a millennial checklist for candidates
09/22/99: The biography battle
09/20/99: Buchanan's new book is a must-read
09/15/99: Don't rule out Beatty
09/13/99: The man with the sun on his face
09/08/99: W. vs. Jr. on dope and the draft
The FALN: Hillary's Willie Horton
08/26/99: Bill's guilt fuels Hill's race
08/25/99: The seemingly inexhaustible strength of America's free enterprise
08/23/99: GOP candidates are weak also-rans
08/16/99: Bubba on Bubba
08/11/99: Hillary's agonizing attempts to understand
08/09/99: With warm regards, Richard Nixon
08/04/99: Weicker: real third party is on the Left
08/02/99: Dubyah's last hangover
07/27/99: Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh; capitalism is gonna win

© 2000, NEA