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You want nice? I got your nice

Do you wonder what Mayor Rudy Giuliani is thinking as he ponders a decision about running for the Senate? Here's a dip into his stream of consciousness:

So I'm not likable. So what? Likable is like polite, takes a lot of time, doesn't get you anywhere.

What do I do with likable people? I fire them. Remember my first police commissioner? I fired him. He did a good job, but he was popular and took people's mind off the fact that I was the greatest Italian in government since Julius Caesar. Same with the chancellor of education. I'm the capo di tutti capi, and I don't want anyone to get any different ideas.

I was likable once, remember? It didn't last, though. When I told the press I had prostate cancer, everyone liked me. They said I was "vulnerable," "human," stuff like that. The New York Times even had a headline: "Giuliani: Man of Grace." Can you believe it? Almost made the whole thing worthwhile.

They bagged it all less than two weeks later when I happened to mention that my wife and I were splitting. It started raining again. I did think about saying something to Donna if I ran into her in the kitchen at the mansion, but think about it. She'd have started yelling and would have upset the kids and made them late for school and me late for work. It wasn't like she couldn't see it on TV.

Donna's likable now. She's a victim, see? They love victims. That's how Hillary got where she is today. Her old man cheated on her, and everyone said, "Poor her, let's send her to the Senate."

Who's more likable than Bill Clinton? He could get re-elected with no sweat. He's still lying, but who cares? He told Diane Rehm on the radio that the White House had been "good" for his marriage. The swimming pool, the Truman balcony, the togetherness, he said. Hello? He got impeached for swimming in the White House pool and sitting on the balcony? I don't think so. Monica was chopped liver?

At least I haven't put out any guff about Gracie Mansion being good for Donna and me. You don't hear me talking about sunlight on the river and the view from the dining room.

Donna was going to do me in, one way or the other. That gig with The Vagina Monologues, which was all about sex and other things my mother wouldn't let you mention around my house, would have been a big help with the Catholic vote, right? Just the name tells you. Written by a friend of Hillary's, of course. If I didn't go to the opening, they'd say I was dissing Donna's artistic aspirations; if I did, I'd run into Hillary. See what I mean? And did she think at all about the kids? They couldn't bring their friends to Mom's dirty show.

Now everyone's on me again because I asked for one lousy week more to make up my mind about the Senate. What's wrong with asking for a little time? I'm tempted, but I want to think twice about it. Look what happened to Julius Caesar when he went to the Senate _ got knifed. By his friends, too. Brutus. Oh, yeah, he was likable, too.

I'm getting sick of all this yakking about how I wouldn't fit into the Senate. Don't tell me you have to be likable to be there. Look at Jesse Helms. He sits on people that Clinton picks to be ambassadors. Jesse keeps them hanging by their thumbs for years. They sell their houses, get checked by the FBI, and then hang around until Jesse gets in the mood.

And what about Orrin Hatch? He sits on judges. Clinton sends up their names and recommendations from the Bar Association and Hatch says, "Just a minute." I heard about somebody named Henry Moreno from El Paso, whose parents came from Mexico with nothing. He went to Harvard and Harvard Law, and has the highest rating the ABA can give. But he's not good enough for Hatch. I guess the game in the Senate is mean, with Republicans anyway. Trent Lott is in charge and he keeps old people from getting medicine.

I'd do fine _ so long as nobody ever expected me to say I was sorry or pretend I want people to like me. Judi, my girlfriend, likes me. Only one fight so far, and that was over her yappy little pooch. She wanted to walk him in the St. Patrick's Day parade with us, and I put my foot down. I'm proud of Manhattan's clean streets, and I'm not taking any chances. I once stepped on the thing by mistake _ honest _ and it bit me in the ankle. He's got to go. I must tell Judi when I have my next press avail.

Mary McGrory is a Washington Post columnist.

Universal Press Syndicate

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