The Giuliani Dilemma

How Freddy and Mark Used Rudy to Define Themselves

No one knows who will vote in a Democratic runoff. It's been 24 years since we've had one for mayor. But we do know it will be core Democrats, even more so than in the recent primary. We know that Latinos sense their first real opportunity to take power in this town. We know that the specter of Rudy is still driving black voters, and many liberal whites who once backed Green. We know that if Rudy takes the Conservative Party ballot line before the runoff—when he must decide under current law—he will drive the moderate white vote down, convincing some to wait and see if he can qualify for November.

Illustration by Alan Carlstrom

Green started the year the favorite to win, softened his image, and captured the Times, without his numbers ever changing. The Mark Green who made himself the alter-Rudy over many years is now positioned to run as his implicit partner, prepared to share power with him, chasing Vallone Democrats. It may be one chameleon change too many for Democrats who remember Giuliani before the planes hit, and can't imagine him as the leader who could actually steer a united city through any part of the next four years.

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