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Mike Takes the High Road, Rudy Takes the Low

Mike swimmin' in my wake, sez Rudy
NY Daily News

Mayor Bloomberg may deny he's running for President, but Rudy Giuliani is treating him like competition anyway.

When Republican Giuliani was asked to compare his mayoralty to his successor's, he claimed credit for "running New York like a business," a leadership style largely associated with billionaire Bloomberg.

"I think there were a lot of differences. But there was one similarity that probably overwhelmed the differences," Giuliani told reporters Thursday in Florida, where he was campaigning for the White House. "We both view New York City from the point of solving problems, from a common-sense approach. I used to call it running New York like a business."

"I think I created that revolution, and I think Mayor Bloomberg has continued it, and I admire him very much for doing that," Giuliani said. The backhanded compliment came two days after Bloomberg announced that he had dropped out of the GOP and registered as an independent, a move considered a precursor to a presidential run.

But Bloomberg had nothing but praise for Giuliani and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), also a presidential candidate, on his weekly radio show yesterday. "We have two good people from New York. Rudy was a good mayor and certainly had opinions and took positions. Hillary has been a great senator and has opinions and taken them," he said on WABC-AM. "I have nothing but good things to say about both of them."

Bloomberg has, in this simple act of praising his competition, distinguished himself from the pack. If he continues to take the high road, and can avoid stooping to the bickering exemplified by Giuliani's snipe, his candidacy will likely significantly reshape the 2008 election.

Voters are tired of the endless partisanship, as is illustrated by the recent lows in the approval rating for Congress. Voters thought they were voting for a change when the installed and gave control to the Democrats in the 2006 election, but it's been business as usual anyway. The Democrats are just having too much fun being in charge after a 12 year dry spell and they are rubbing the Right's nose in it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's lack of self-control and inability to keep his wagon on the 'high road" is the most notable example.

Bloomberg has an opportunity to elevate the race for president out of the mud, and in the process he'll stand out as a leader instead of a fighter in his quest for the presidency.

If he stays on the high road he's on now he just might get there.

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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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