- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 6, 2001

Noble: New York Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for refusing to run for re-election despite Rooseveltian popularity.

Mr. Giuliani may well be the most popular mayor on the planet. Reporters covering his handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have broken records in their use of Churchillian superlatives, and truly, rarely in the field of media coverage has so much well-earned praise been given by so many to such a mayor. Mr. Giuliani has become a living symbol of the unstinting courage and indomitable determination of the greatest New Yorkers. His fleshy sinews have served to strengthen the spirit of New York far more than any steel I-beam or skyscraper ever could.

Mr. Giuliani could almost certainly be elected to any office of his choosing. Many hoped that he would try to win an additional term as the mayor of the city that he loves so well, whose citizens need him so badly. Many actually called on him to run. Those requests may well have driven his attempt to extend his term an additional three months, and fueled speculation that he would run for a third (and currently unconstitutional) term.

This week, Mr. Giuliani decided to follow the constitutional course. He chose to give up his political power despite the city's present crisis, claiming that to do otherwise would be "divisive" at a time when "the city needs every effort we can make to keep it unified." That decision follows the time-honored tradition of Washington and Jefferson.

For putting aside political ambition for the sake of city-wide unity, Mr. Giuliani's likeness could be carved into the Rushmore stone along with the republic's most worthy representatives.

Knave: California Democratic Rep. Gary Condit for resuming his run at re-election.

Mr. Condit may well be the most reviled member of Congress. Reporters covering his handling of the Chandra Levy affair have broken records in their use of O.J. Simpson superlatives, and truly, rarely in the field of media coverage has so much well-earned derision been given by so many to such a representative. Mr. Condit has become a living symbol of the unstinting arrogance and indomitable narcissism of the worst Washingtonians. His fleshy indulgences have served to weaken the spirit of the republic.

Mr. Condit will almost certainly be defeated in any attempt to win elective office. Many feared that he might try to win an additional term as a representative of a district that he so diminished, whose constituents he treated so badly. Many actually called on him to resign. Yet those demands have apparently done little to lessen his ardor to extend his time in Congress by an additional two years (an almost unthinkable eighth term).

Mr. Condit is attempting to gather the 3,000 petition signatures necessary to run again, following the time-dishonored tradition of Bill Clinton who, confronted by the Monica Lewinsky crisis, declared to pollster Dick Morris, "Well, we just have to win then." That decision cost Congress a bitter impeachment battle when it should have been unified on national security.

For pursuing political ambitions for the sake of self-indulgence, Mr. Condit has carved his name into the annals of the republic's most scandalous representatives.

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