Rudy's Night: Yankees win, Kerik loses

Midway in the World Series last night, Fox's TV cameras lingered on top Yankee fan Rudolph Giuliani, seated in his customary box adjacent to the dugout (The cost? No man knows.) The ex-mayor's team was up by three runs, but his jaw was set in grimace, his teeth bared as though ready to bite some faux Philly fanatic. Had Judy said something peevish? Had Jeter brushed off one of his fawning jokes?

The likely answer only came after the game at a flick of the news wires: The Times was reporting that top Giuliani protege, Bernard Kerik, was accepting a three-year prison term in lieu of federal trials.

For Kerik, 54, it is a sensible career move. His own worst enemy, he is already in jail for having flouted a judge's orders. He faced the possibility of 20 years more, and legal fees likely to bury him in debt.

For Giuliani, it is the last stop on the campaign train, for governor or anything else. Worse -- and this is the most probable cause for his scowl - it badly devalues the Giuliani brand. It is one thing to explain that you were viciously deceived by a man you thought to be a prince only to learn he was a simple thief. These things happen. It's another to try and air-brush the former police commissioner out of all those 9/11 photos.

It could even -- perish the thought -- make the Yankees rethink the benefit of having the ex-mayor and his third wife occupy that precious photo-op site in their newly coronated stadium.


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