Democrat Photo by Fred Stabbert III
POLITICAL TALK: New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani talks with John Dean of Pelham at the Roscoe Diner Friday.
Giuliani Gets Taste of Sullivan During Friday Afternoon Visit
By Fred Stabbert III
ROSCOE April 11, 2000 -- New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been reaching out to upstate voters recently in his bid to become the next U.S. Senator from the State of New York.
And what better place to get the true flavor of Sullivan County than The Roscoe Diner, one of the busiest and most well known eateries along Route 17?
Giulianis big appetite for meeting and talking with people was met with friendly hellos, firm handshakes and some head nodding as he worked the crowd of more than 75 Roscoe Diner patrons like a maitred, going booth to booth for over 15 minutes.
The hour-and-twenty-five-minute visit to the famed restaurant last Friday afternoon included a tete-a-tete between Giuliani and Sullivan County Republican Party Chair Greg Goldstein.
A host of Giuliani staff also accompanied the mayor, who was on his way to a fundraising dinner in Binghamton. The dinner reportedly attracted 700 Giuliani faithful.
John W. Dean (not President Nixons counsel) and his wife, Alice, of Pelham, had stopped for lunch on their way to Ithaca to visit their daughter when Rudy stopped by to say hello.
Were both Democrats, Dean said. Its hard for me to believe the Democrats could find a candidate which would make me vote for Rudy.
Its wonderful, Alice Dean said, referring to Rudys attention to them. Its a democratic process with a small d.
Many of the diner patrons found Giuliani to be very open and honest.
Gerd Rifflard of South Fallsburg, who was lunching with her brother and sister-in-law from Worcester, said, Yes, I do think Rudy would make a good Senator. Anyone who can do a good job in New York City should be our next senator.
Her sister-in-law, Marilyn Dufersne, agreed, Im so excited.
But Charles Dufersne, who refused to say who he was supporting, said, Nobody is going to change my mind.
Looking for Help Upstate
Fridays visit to Sullivan County and Broome County coincided with a front page New York Times story about Giulianis slipping popularity in the latest New York Times/CNN Poll. According to the poll, Hillary Clinton is nearly 10 percentage points ahead of Giuliani.
Goldstein said lunch was not only informative but very positive.
We mentioned Mohawk casino gaming at the raceway, and he said he was behind it 1,000 percent, Goldstein said. He was very upbeat and thought it was a beautiful area.
Giuliani enjoyed a chicken caesar salad and black coffee for lunch, which was interrupted once when he had to do a live phone interview with an upstate radio station via a kitchen phone.
He wants to come back again, Goldstein said. He loves to golf.
Goldstein said the campaign did come up, and Giuliani assured him, Im running, please get out the vote, upstate will be key for me.
The proof is in the pudding, Goldstein said, referring to Giulianis record as mayor of New York City. Many people believe that New York City is now safer than ever and much more tourist friendly since Giuliani has become mayor.
Always the opportunist, Giuliani heard, Hey Mayor! from across the street as Miron workers poured concrete. He gave them the thumbs up as they responded, Good luck!
Then he and his staff jumped into a silver Chevy Suburban and headed toward Binghamton, hoping to find more supporters.