Giuliani Fighting for His GOP Chairman, But To What End?

The backstage drama of the New York State GOP chairmanship battle continues! The short version is, Rudolph Giuliani is backing Henry Wojtaszek -- loyal to Giuliani, who is thought to have eyes on the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2010. The front-runner is Ed Cox -- yes, Tricia Nixon's husband -- who says he has 42 of 62 county committees sewn up. Giuliani can't trust Cox because Cox backed John McCain back when Giuliani hoped to be President 9/11.

That looks bad for the forces of Rudyism. But the always-astute Liz Benjamin points that outgoing chairman Joe Mondello backs Wojtaszek, and Mondello "controls the timing of the meeting at which the GOP committee members will vote on a chairman." And Benjamin says Giuliani has Al D'Amato, George Pataki, and other nightmarish GOP ghosts working on his behalf.

Will they pull it off? Maybe Cox's support is softer than he lets on. But Giuliani is a polarizing figure even among Republican voters -- the ways of the GOP are strange to us, but we wouldn't be surprised if many party functionaries actively disliked him. And there are some who think Giuliani isn't actually serious about becoming Governor, and may just be forming alliances for another future race.

The chairmanship issue is expected to be settled this week.

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