The Reflective Rudy

Mayor Savors His $3 Million Book of Dish: Celebrates Valentine's Day With Tina, Judi, and the Legion of Decency

Here are my favorite recent brainstorms:

Jimmy Traub just wrote my farewell profile for the Sunday Times and called it: "Giuliani's New York: The city, and psyche, he'll leave behind." Thank God he didn't write about the psyche I'm taking with me. It's so great that such a smart guy is still willing to take seriously almost every self-serving claim I've ever made. It's also so great that his formula is to dump critiques from the underclass on the back pages that the upper classes never get to. And the timing just made Tina salivate!

All the obscure monitors, from the Financial Control Board to the Independent Budget Office to the Citizens Budget Commission, are going nuts about me spending all the surpluses, hiking the debt, adding tax cuts of gargantuan future proportions, doubling police overtime, and leaving future deficits bigger than the Fresh Kills landfill. The federal welfare law, a national recession, and the soaring cost of garbage disposal all hit the city as I walk out the door. Isn't it just very, very great that when the chickens come home to roost, not even Donna will still be at the mansion? (Make a note to have her send me over some clean shirts.)

I had a hard time when I was U.S. Attorney figuring out what this political racket was all about, but now I know. It's about making your cousin's husband head of the Trade Waste Commission. Or your ex-wife and cousin head of the Central Park Conservancy. Or your mid-life honey head of the Convention & Visitors Bureau. Or your other cousin a six-figure honcho at the Economic Development Corporation.

It's about your best friend doing a million a year in consulting just to talk about you. It's about special detective details for ex-police commissioners who knew how to defer, and for current girlfriends who know how to look dazzled. It's about feeding the family of the party leader who got you elected, even the dysfunctional son. It's about your deputies and their wives becoming lobbyists, and everyone putting a price on how close their mouth is to your ear.

And happiest of all, it's about getting your City Hall research staff to put together every document we wouldn't release under Freedom of Information so I can use whatever I want in the book. It's about ringing up the biggest payday of my life, even enough to silence Hanover, while I still have influence to trade. Papa would be proud.

Research: Jesse Goldstein and Greg Robertson

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