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Rudy Time, Again?

No, yes, maybe -- it's Rudy time again.

No to governor. Yes to Senator. Or maybe the man they used to call "America's Mayor" -- used to -- will never really decide.

There's plenty of precedent for skepticism when it comes to the political pronouncement of Rudy Giuliani.

This is the candidate who abandoned his battle-of-the-titans Senate run against Hillary Clinton.
He's the shoo-in who said "no thank you" to the top Homeland Security job, touting Bernie Kerik instead. Most spectacularly, he's the one whose high-expectations campaign for president campaign was over almost before it began.

And now, the ex-mayor's closest advisers are whispering up another storm:

His lengthy flirtation with the 2010 governor's race, they say, is being tossed on the growing pile marked "Rudy's Might Have Beens." Instead, he's signaling his interest in next year's Senate race.
Rudy should rush to a print shop right now. He should place an order a big load of bumper stickers, yard signs and palm cards. That way, he'll have them for the next 17 Rudy-for-whatever campaign.

One all-purpose slogan will be enough: "Uh, maybe not!"

We've all had to learn this one the hard way: Just because Rudy announces doesn't mean Rudy runs.

Either way, he'll still have his lucrative career as an after-dinner speaker. He'll remain in brisk demand as a TV talking head. He can join every bash-Obama conference calls organized by the RNC. There will always be some audience for a former mayor of New York, warning darkly.
Why spoil that with a another disappointing race?

All this is fine news for David Paterson, Andrew Cuomo and whatever actual candidates for governor the state Republicans can recruit. It may provide some early jitters for Kirsten Gillibrand.

New York's junior senator got the job when Hillary became Secretary of State. The low-profile Gillibrand has to face the voters next year.

Count on the Rudy flirtation to last a while.

We'll get a re more rounds of will-he-or-won't-he? The buzz will build predictably. No one can say for certain what decision Rudy finally makes.

But at least the bumper stickers will be ready to go.

Ellis Henican is a Newsday and amNew York columnist and a Fox News contributor. This column originally appeared in amNew York.

Ellis Henican joined Fox News Channel (FNC) as a political contributor in July 1999. He also serves as a staff columnist for Newsday and hosts a nationally syndicated weekend show on Talk Radio Network.