Republican President-elect Donald Trump has narrowed his short list of potential secretary of state nominations to two men: critic Mitt Romney, and loyalist Rudy Giuliani. Now, former New York Gov. George Pataki is throwing his voice into the decision.
“Rudy Giuliani has the stature and the experience to restore America's standing as our next Secretary of State. #TrumpTransition” Pataki tweeted on Nov. 27.
Pataki, a Republican, served as the state’s governor from 1995 to 2006, overlapping with Republican Rudy Giuliani who served as mayor of New York City.
As the Washington Post notes, the two men had a long-standing rivalry while in office.
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"There's always a natural tension between New York mayors and governors of the same party, but these guys were never fond of each other to begin with," Gerald Benjamin, a political scientist with the State University of New York at New Paltz, said at the time. "There's real bad blood."
The feud dates back to 1994, when then-State Sen. Pataki sought Giuliani’s endorsement for governor. Pataki arranged to meet the New York City mayor, kept him waiting for over an hour, then called off the meeting. In reaction, Pataki sought Giuliani’s endorsement for governor. In reaction, Giuliani ended up endorsing Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo.
Giuliani has been a close advisor and surrogate for Donald Trump throughout the campaign. Giuliani’s name has been floated as a nominee for vice president, attorney general, and secretary of state.
“Rudy’s natural constituency is middle- or lower-middle-class people who feel that they’ve been pushed aside — just like Trump’s,” Fred Siegel, a senior fellow at the conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute, told the New York Times. “He’s not crazy; far from it. He sees this as a chance to return to the national stage. If you ask Trump questions about law and order and dig down half an inch, what you find is Rudy.”
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“From Rudy’s point of view, this is what he was working for,” Siegel later added. “He’ll never be president, but he’ll be influential, one of an inner circle of two or three people. This has all paid off for him. Enormously.”