The Giuliani Show

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New Hampshire, late 2007

I hate to disappoint you, Massimo, but I think Rudy Giuliani is just having a little fun–and making looking for a little profit. When I  wrote in 2009 about Rudy’s long flirtation with running for governor of New York, it looked as though Rudy was mainly interested in free media to rehabilitate his reputation after his disastrous 2008 presidential bid–not just in a political context but also in a business one:

After quitting the campaign, Giuliani returned to his business ventures. But finishing behind Ron Paul and Fred Thompson in several states will put a dent in a man’s business brand. Giuliani’s speaking fees reportedly sagged as much as $25,000 from a peak of $100,000. More significant was the impact on Giuliani Partners, the business he founded weeks after leaving City Hall….

Which is why it seems entirely possible that Rudy is playing a game—one that is about his own self-worth, and also his net worth. He enjoys the attention, enjoys being pursued, can’t stand to be out of the limelight, even if a job like, say, governor of New York he sees as beneath him. And stringing things out is a form of free advertising. “That can’t be bad for business,” says Jay Jacobs, chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee. “There is no upside for him to shoot it down, and there is a lot of upside for him to continue. But at the end of the day, I think the risks of running far outweigh for him the benefits. And I don’t think he’ll pull the trigger.”

He didn’t. And I strongly doubt he’ll run again for president, either. But talking about it can’t be bad for business.

More on Rudy—with bonus Palin angle!–here.