I had ascary dose of reality last Friday while snapping photos of wack-job ChrisBrodeur and Robert Lederman for Andrey Slivka's "NewYork City" piece this issue (page 15). Brodeur's a trip: an intelligentman, with honest convictions about Manhattan's problems in general,and Rudy Giuliani in particular. But without a proper kick in the groinhe'll rave on for hours. Lederman is as steadfast in his opposition tothe Mayor, but is more controlled: He's one of the most articulate activistsI've met in my 11 years here. Anyway, we were speculating about the 2000Senate race in New York and I instinctively brought up the assumed Giulianirun on the Republican side. No way, Lederman, countered: Rudy's got hiseye on the attorney general slot in a George W. Bush administration (orperhaps another winning candidate). Lederman was cagey about his sources, butclaims a deal has already been struck: Rudy helps the presidential candidatecapture New York in the general election and presto! he's A.G., all setto abridge the freedom of all Americans, not just New Yorkers.
I'dnever considered this turn of events but it makes a lot of sense: Giuliani doesn'twant to be one of 100 bodies rattling around the old cloakroom in the Capitol,slapping each other on the back and going for cocktails after their abbreviatedday of work is done. No, he'd rather be his own man, free to prosecutethe hell out of political enemies and maybe take a whack at the First Amendmenttoo. That's scary.

If Lederman'scorrect, it leads to an equally horrific possibility: Sen. Hillary Rodham(D-NY). Without Giuliani in the way?who'd probably defeat the FirstLady, given his popularity in the city and upstate?who's going toknock her down? The supposedly conservative Congressman Pete King, who'sbeen co-opted by Bill Clinton because of the President's successfulintervention into the British-Irish "Troubles"? Notlikely. George Pataki, dreaming of a veep slot with a GOP nominee, won'trun, and after that, New York is bereft of influential Republicans who couldsmash a cash- and endorsement-rich Hillary.