ABC News’ Mark Mooney reports: Rudy Giuliani may not have announced any decision on his political future yet, but that didn’t stop another ex-New York City mayor from declaring Giuliani’s candidacy finished.
Ed Koch, who has feuded with Giuliani for years, was delighted with Giuliani’s crushing defeat in Florida. He crowed, before the final votes were even tallied, that he was certain the verdict by Florida’s voters "will drive a stake through his heart. The beast is dead."
If Koch is correct, Giuliani joins Koch and a long line of former New York City mayors who have discovered that being mayor of New York is a political dead end. Former Gotham mayors have a combined losing streak as epic as the one owned by the Chicago Cubs.
The two best known politicians who used the mayor’s office as a springboard to political oblivion were Koch and John Lindsay.
Lindsay switched from Republican to Democrat, and ran for president in 1972 on the boast that he had successfully held "the second toughest job in America." He dropped out after winning a mere 7 percent in the Wisconsin primary. To make rejection complete, he later lost a Democratic primary for a Senate seat.
Koch took his brash "How’m I doing" schtick upstate in a run for governor in 1982, but was quickly sent back to the city.
After three terms as mayor, Robert Wagner also developed national ambitions. He was nominated for vice president and the Senate, but lost both bids.
Even Fiorello LaGuardia, the Depression era mayor who became the standard by which the city’s mayors are measured, couldn’t move up. He was eventually mentioned as a possible veep candidate, but he died of pancreatic cancer in 1947 before he had a chance to break the curse.
"I know it’s true, but I can’t give you an explanation why they don’t go on to higher office," Koch told ABCNEWS.com.
Koch said his own case was fueled by glowing poll ratings and flattering press coverage. "I felt I could do anything," he said with a self deprecating laugh. But he didn’t know whether that was a feeling that had infected the ambitions of his fellow mayors.
Koch is delighted that the losing streak remains intact.