Anthony’s Inner Rudy

We’ve been wondering for a while about whether Anthony would benefit from embracing what we see as his inner Rudy: his reflex to defend outer-borough Catholics and Jews, and his willingness to offend liberals.

Already, Anthony’s become something of a bogeyman for Middle East liberals, like Juan Cole, particularly over his calling for the firing of a Columbia professor. We saw him take some heat at a downtown Democratic club over his attack on New York Press for its pope jokes. And he has a fractionally different position from Mike on the smoking ban.

But unlike Rudy, Anthony always pulls back, the fantasy of a New York Times endorsement, perhaps, dancing in his eyes. He was careful to say that as Mayor, he would never have touched a copy of New York Press. We like to think that Rudy would have had the Department of Sanitation trash their boxes, and reveled in the scolding he took in the Times.

Anyway, we ran into Anthony last night at the book party for Fred Siegel’s new Rudy book. He was the only Mayoral candidate, of course, there. We wandered when he was chatting with onetime Rudy advisor Richard Schwartz.

So perhaps he’ll forget those polls showing that Democratic Primary voters rate Rudy slightly lower than Satan, and fully embrace that inner Rudy.