COLONIE—At the end of his 27-minute speech to the Albany County Republican Committee's packed Lincoln-Reagan Dinner Monday night, Chairman John Graziano gave former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani a framed picture of the State Capitol.
"We want you to be here next year," he said. Giuliani grinned. The crowd gave him a standing ovation. Giuliani shook hands with and hugged the people at the elevated head table, then slid out a back door into the night.
Earlier, he spoke to reporters at the Capitol and refused to confirm plans to run for anything. But addressing the convened guests at the dinner, which was held in a ballroom at the Desmond Hotel in exurban Albany, Giuliani danced the dance of the potential candidate, decrying the current system (he called the recently enacted state budget a "terrible mistake") and promising a glorious and better tomorrow.
"This state needs a Reagan reorganization," he said. "I took a look at a list of the taxes that were going to be raised and I fell asleep before I could finish it."
He went on to say that "we should be ashamed at ourselves if a state like New York with the wealth that we have and with the talent that we have and with the people that we have here—and with the teams that play in New York—we should be ashamed of ourselves if we're number 40th in something, or 44 or 45 or 46," he said. "The governor, all the statewide officials the legislators should be ashamed anytime we're in a very low position—in an anti-competitive position. Because we don't have to be."
Cutting taxes and stripping the size of government are the answer, Giuliani said, echoing a theme he raised earlier in the day. He says he did it in New York City.
The implication was, of course, maybe he'd like to it again.