THE NOTE: Between Rounds


He's also talking up his issues workshops and reiterating his statement that he'll run for president if he gets commitments of $30 million. "There are an amazing number of people who've walked up to me and said that they want somebody who can debate Sen. Clinton, who can go toe-to-toe next September and October," he said.

Here's the story that no phone call from Judith Giuliani can make easier to swallow: The National Rifle Association "is considering stepping into the presidential campaign fray early next year during the primary season," the Washington Times' Joseph Curl reports. Says NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox: "Given the candidates and the process and the front-loading of the primaries, it is a possibility that we could get involved in one of these presidential primaries." (The candidates? If you weren't sure what that means, Curl talks to NRA members and "found a consensus: Mr. Giuliani is not their man.")

The New York Times' Clyde Haberman uses the cell-phone incident to recount the history of "Rudy the loopy," complete with his "Godfather" imitations, off-color jokes, and the time Donald Trump "nuzzled his fake breasts." Haberman writes, "The weirdness factor, as some have called it, is as much a part of the Giuliani package as 9/11, banished squeegee men and shuttered porn parlors."

Piling on, the New York Post's Carl Campanile describes Giuliani and President Clinton as "bosom buddies" back when they still held office. "Letters in Giuliani's archives show that Rudy and Bubba were mutually admiring pen pals while in office -- praising each other particularly on anti-crime initiatives then opposed by the National Rifle Association," Campanile writes, a tidy piece of oppo-research successfully dropped.

And here comes Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I-N.Y., taking "a rare, veiled swipe at his predecessor" by saying he doesn't understand why Giuliani is distancing himself from the gun lawsuit Giuliani himself filed as mayor, per The New York Times' Diane Cardwell. While Giuliani said he doesn't agree with the "several turns and several twists" the case has taken, Bloomberg responded that the case has "not changed at all."

Remember this Giuliani quote? "The reality is that I'm not running on what I did on September 11th," Giuliani said three weeks ago. Now there's this: "A spokeswoman for Rudy Giuliani says it is unfortunate that a supporter throwing a party that aims to raise $9.11 per person for the Republican's presidential campaign is asking for that amount," per the AP's Libby Quaid.

The Boston Globe's Peter Canellos looks at the "marriage of convenience" between Obama and Jesse Jackson. When Jackson accused Obama of "acting like he's white," Canellos writes, "Jackson mostly hurt himself." But "for Obama, linking arms with Jackson and Sharpton at a protest rally would present a political problem. . . . Obama seeks to identify himself with the black experience, but not the anger that often seems to motivate [Al] Sharpton and, to a lesser but visible extent, Jackson."

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