By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
But no one in the media paid much attention to what the memoir still said about Giuliani, whom Pataki characterized as a "very liberal Republican." Pataki even slammed Giuliani for surreptitiously aiding the early 1994 candidacy of Herb London, who'd run as the Conservative Party candidate in 1990 and was trying to challenge Pataki in a Republican primary or get on the November ballot as a Conservative again, draining votes from Pataki. Noting that London was "far too dogmatic even for the Republican mainstream," Pataki said Giuliani's efforts for London "made no sense unless the Cuomo camp was behind the plan, getting its Republican allies to support the one candidate who had no real chance of defeating the governor."
The book also attributed the mayor's ultimate "defection" to Cuomo to a desire "to keep the status quo" for his own reasons. That's why Pataki chose to emphasize again and again on Monday that the supporters gathered around him at the Sheraton were limited to "the team" that backed him in '94 in a fight for the kind of changes he and Bush now jointly espouse.
The best insight into a governor who, after four and a half years, remains an enigma to most New Yorkers, the memoir implicitly draws a multiplicity of contrasts between Pataki and his mayoral rival: public-school Catholic versus Catholic-school Catholic; Yale versus a Christian Brothers campus; country lawyer who rejected big-city legal culture versus prosecutorial giant of the Manhattan bar; casual Met fan versus Yankee nut; hoopster versus opera club founder; "balanced" lifestyle versus obsessive-compulsive.
When Pataki writes about "the fundamental disconnection" between D'Amato and himself prior to the senator's 1994 decision to back him, his description of D'Amato could just as easily apply now to Giuliani: "D'Amato gets things done, but his nature is confrontational. He tends to yell. My nature is not at all confrontational. I look for common ground to get around an impasse. D'Amato bludgeons people into submission. I don't give up too easily myself, but I try to be a bit more subtle about it. We have very different personalities, and very different styles."
The governor and D'Amato obviously bridged their differences long ago, but the chasm between Pataki and Rudy extending from Joe DiMaggio's legacy to Pat Moynihan's, from the tobacco settlement to the commuter tax is now shaping the politics and policies of the city and state.