An NYC source friendly to both Lazio and Rudy reminds me of something that I probably should’ve included in my original post:
People need to remember that Rick wanted to run for the Senate in 2000, but Rudy was toying with the idea and was effectively freezing everyone else out. The Pataki people also prevented others from entering the race until Rudy decided. Winter turned to spring and Rudy was still undecided. He didn’t make an announcement until late May when he announced that he had prostate cancer and would not run. While it was understandable that he would, at that point, not run for the Senate, a lot of people were upset that Rudy had strung the GOP along and left the party in a bad spot. I think Rick was probably one of those people and he was left to put together a last minute campaign when the Pataki team, which had previously kept him on the sidelines, turned to him as Rudy’s replacement. Given all of the hurdles he faced and given that Bush lost NY to Gore by about 2.5 million votes and Rick lost by about half that many votes to HRC, I think people should recognize that Lazio ran a commendable race under tough circumstances. That being said, I think Lazio might still be angry with Rudy’s behavior in early 2000.