Vanity Fair does Crazy for Rudy.
No, that is wrong: virtually every Full Rudy veteran expects the implosion to happen any second. It's in some bizarro parallel reality that the Rudy campaign achieves verisimilitude and even—strange, too, when you consider the cronies and hacks who surround him—appears, at times, adept.
It's a Catch-22 kind of nuttiness. What with all his personal issues—the children; the women; the former wives; Kerik and the Mob; his history of interminable, bitter, asinine hissy fits; the look in his eye; and, now, Judi!, his current, prospective, not-ready-for-prime-time First Lady—he'd have to be nuts to think he could successfully run for president. But nutty people don't run for president—certainly they don't get far if they do.
And, speaking of banana republics, there was Rudy's extra-legal plan to set aside the 2001 mayoral election (after his term limit had been reached, so he couldn't run again) and, by legislative acclamation (thwarted only at the last minute), extend his term.
Still, say what you want, Rudy's fearlessness or kookiness does break through the political clutter and leave a powerful impression—that may be the biggest part of the political job.
The wives: if Rudy's marital history isn't crazy, it's surely way over the line of middle-class domestic political norms. You can't marry your second cousin (Regina Peruggi, now president of Kingsborough Community College) and, on top of that, annul the deal, as though this were the 18th century. You can't, in a public snit, break up with your wife in a news conference (provoking that wife, Donna Hanover, to call a counter–news conference where she suggested he was a public liar and adulterer). You can't carry on, as we used to say, in front of everybody, not without some major contrition—not if you want a political future.
Or can you?
The bit about the Mayoral election is why I think the man is a dangerous figure, one without the fundamental small-d democratic DNA we desperately need in our leaders. Romney, Hagel, even Huckabee would be far less likely to do something really really weird to us.
Of course, that's not what the media are going to focus on. Nor the keeping his mistress on the city payroll (Wolfowitz, anyone?). No, they're getting all worked up about that story about Rudy and the Ferret.