Life after Rudy is liberating. At least that’s the refrain being repeated by veterans of the former New York City Mayor’s short-lived Senate campaign as they hunt for new jobs in the midst of a high-stakes election season.
Life after Rudy is liberating. At least that’s the refrain being
repeated by veterans of the former New York City Mayor’s short-lived
Senate campaign as they hunt for new jobs in the midst of a high-stakes
The mayor’s top campaign aides, including former campaign manager Bruce
Teitelbaum, media consultant Adam Goodman and pollster Frank Luntz, were
left unexpectedly jobless in the wake of Mayor Giuliani’s decision to
withdraw from the contest against first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in
order to tend to his failing marriage and to seek treatment for prostate
But campaign insiders say several top aides are pursuing opportunities
with leading PR agencies, while others have informal working
relationships with the campaign of Giuliani’s successor in the Senate
contest, Long Island Rep. Rick Lazio.
Goodman, for example, a longtime Giuliani friend who worked on his 1997
mayoral contest, is said to be planning a permanent exit from politics
and is ’shopping his name around to major PR agencies nationally,’
according to one insider.
Is there life after Rudy?
’I’m talking to a lot of people, and a lot of people are talking to
But right now there are nothing more than discussions,’ the veteran
media guru tells PRWeek. ’It’s difficult to completely piece together
life after Rudy in a couple of weeks. Rudy in itself is a life
Like other Giuliani campaign veterans, Goodman forfeited other
high-profile business to sign on for the Senate race of the millennium,
meaning he is now forced to pitch candidates and clients mid-cycle.
’Life after Rudy is different, but it has been fairly exciting,’ Goodman
says, adding that he had just inked his fifth deal with a Congressional
candidate and was still consulting for the New York Republican party, as
well as embarking on some Internet-related projects. ’I think a lot of
people got a lift because of working around and with Rudy.’
No one more so than Teitelbaum, the mayor’s former chief of staff who
had never run a national campaign before taking the reins of Giuliani
for Senate. By all accounts, Teitelbaum, a former Democrat, could be the
campaign’s most valuable commodity given his close ties to the mayor and
the campaign’s success, particularly in the fund-raising department.
His wife, Suri Kasirer, a Democratic public relations consultant and
lobbyist, could certainly help him out.
’He’s fielding offers all over the place,’ says one knowledgeable
’He will end up making a lot of money before year’s end in spite of the
fact there’s no longer a campaign. He’s certainly one of the top three
most influential folks in New York.’
In fact, Teitelbaum has not jumped ship yet, according to sources.
Campaign insiders say Teitelbaum is still running the mayor’s political
network, which includes a federal and state PAC, as well as his inactive
Senate campaign committee, ’Friends of Giuliani.’ An attorney,
Teitelbaum is also said to have been interviewing with several
Washington-based law firms and political consulting agencies.
The former Giuliani campaign chief is nurturing a cozy relationship with
the Lazio campaign, talking daily on the phone with Lazio campaign
manager Bill Dal Col. Although there were initial reports of a rocky
transition, the Giuliani campaign and the mayor himself are now said to
be doing everything they can to help Lazio, including renting out their
prized mailing lists, which were responsible for raking in a record
dollars 20 million.
’We’re working very closely with Bill Dal Col and with other people in
the Lazio campaign. I think we’ve been very, very helpful,’ Teitelbaum
says. ’The mayor has said he will do whatever is asked of him.’ Confirms
Dal Col, ’Bruce has been extremely helpful. He couldn’t be any more
He has been nothing short of awesome, and the mayor the same. They’ve
done everything they can possibly do to help us whenever we’ve requested
But some Giuliani veterans complained the Lazio campaign hasn’t taken
full advantage of their resources, such as months of opposition research
on the first lady and strategy memos. ’I spent a year and a half
thinking about this race as a strategist, and I never had a single
conversation (with Lazio),’ says one peeved former aide. ’It’s their
Veteran New York political consultant Hank Sheinkopf says that former
Giuliani campaign aides may be hurt in their pursuit of other
opportunities because of the insular nature of the campaign.
’The problem is the Giuliani campaign didn’t have statewide legs,’
Sheinkopf says. ’He was always seen as a closed shop, and anything that
happens in New York is more parochial generally than anything that
happens anywhere else. It would be very hard to break out and form a
But 36-year-old Rick Wilson is doing just that. Wilson, who worked with
Goodman at his Florida-based ’Victory Group’ for five years before
becoming a top aide to Giuliani, is striking out to form his own
consulting and public affairs firm, which is unnamed as of yet.
Wilson has already signed a few clients: he is doing communications work
for Republican National Committee co-chairwoman Pat Harrison and
advising state legislative candidates in Florida, as well as working
with three NY-based corporate clients, although he wouldn’t divulge any
names. ’I will miss Rudy tremendously because he’s such a unique
character in American political life,’ Wilson says. ’But I also feel
liberated in a way. There is no such training like New York for
high-intensity politics at any level.’
Two other former Giuliani aides now in high demand are Laura Van Hove,
the finance director who is likely to be a senior Lazio consultant -
although there is no contract yet - and communications director Juleanna
Glover, who interviewed with the Lazio campaign but is looking to move
back to Washington and possibly join a major PR firm.
As for Luntz, insiders say the GOP polling guru is, once again, focusing
on his corporate clients, such as investment banking giant Merrill
But the man behind ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s ’Contract with
America’ is never far from the political arena: he is hosting a series
of focus groups being aired on MSNBC’s The News with Brian Williams and
is planning to embark on a national focus group tour in July to get
footage for a special fall program to be called 1,000 Voices in 100
Days. So it seems there is life after Rudy after all, and a good one at