Well, as they say, timings everything in comedy and, perhaps, politics.
Some pundits and political consultants were speculating late last week
about the timing of
Health scares have a way of making the public forget about police shootings of innocent African-American men and racy monologues performed by the missus.
Hizzoners cancer story is likely to have legs and was the only thing people have been talking about since last Thursday, conveniently bumping Rudys plummeting poll numbers and Donnas odd career choice off the front pages of the tabs.
There are two schools of thought about the political fallout of
Rudys bombshell announcement: one holds that any uncertainty about the Mayors
"It [the Mayors cancer] adds a great deal of uncertainty to the race," said Stuart Rothenberg, a political expert in The Post. "Politics is like the stock market in that uncertainty isnt good."
Health scares certainly hurt the careers of a number of other candidates, most notably 20 years ago in the race for the other Senate seat in New York when Jacob Javits was ousted during his own battle with Lou Gehrigs disease. Other candidates whose fortunes have been affected by their health woes include Bob Dole, Bill Bradley and Paul Tsongas.
But there are some who believe that the mayor will bounce back stronger than before. "There will be tremendous scrutiny and sympathy and then the campaign will continue," said East Side political consultant Joseph Mercurio.
One things for sure, a race that has not lacked in drama, has become even more profoundly dramatic in recent days. Stay tuned.Healthy Obsession
A friend of this page spoke to Donna Shalala, the Secretary of Health and Human services at the recent Radio & Television Correspondents Associations annual dinner. Seems Donna is such a huge fan of the White House drama West Wing that she would like to be more than a viewer. She has let it be known that shed love to be a consultant to the NBC show, or do a guest appearance. Former Oval Office advisors Dee Dee Myers and Patrick Caddell are current advisors to the hit show. Shalala says shed go on the show in a guest role "in a minute." She has friends tape it when she is traveling or otherwise engaged at 9 p.m. Eastern, 8 Central. "I build my schedule around it on Wednesday nights, the same way a generation ago people used to build their schedules around Peyton Place." Make no mistake - Shalala is involved in the plotlines. "There are episodes where Im sobbing at the end."Sour Sarge Pill
Somebody slipped a sour pill into a medical plan provided to NYPD Sergeants.
Prescription drug benefits took a beating when the sergeants plan was revamped recently, were told.
No one told the sergeants about the change until it went into effect, sources said an oversight that has the supervisors up in arms.
The old plan provided prescriptions at a flat-rate of $3 each regardless of the whole cost of the item. The new plan calls for $150 deductible, then puts a price tag on the drugs of 15 percent of the whole cost.
Union officials refused to comment other than to say that the change was "necessary" because the SBA (Sergeants Benevolent Association) Medical Fund could no longer support the original plan. In short, the medical fund was running out of money.
Its a bitter pill, but the sergeants just have to swallow it, one source said.
"We dont have to swallow it," responded one sergeant. "Its just one more reason to get off this job as soon as we can."Sticks & Stones
Weve heard of strange political bedfellows before, but last week there was one of the odder pairings in recent memory.
Hunky actor Alec Baldwin, who many believe is eyeing political office someday, made a dramatic public appearance at a legislative committee hearing on Hate Crimes legislation that was co-sponsored by the openly gay State Senator from Chelsea, Tom Duane. The Long Island native, husband of megastar wife Kim Basinger, is a long-time political activist who has lent his name to crusades for animal rights and gun control in recent years.
But the last time he and Duane were paired together in the public eye was back in the mid-'90s when Baldwin allegedly got into a heated argument with a man and used the homophic slur "you faggot." Then City Councilmember Duane lambasted Baldwin publicly which led to an apology by the actor.
But time heals all wounds and Duane and Baldwin are now on the same side pushing for beefed up Hate Crimes legislation.
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