Mayor Bloomberg is bringing out one of the most powerful tools in his toolbox - Rudolph Giuliani - just two weeks before Election Day.
The former mayor, who helped turn the tide for Mr. Bloomberg in 2001, recorded a phone message for the man he calls "my friend Mike Bloomberg," which is being distributed widely to households in the five boroughs.
"Mike took over New York in a tough time," Mr. Giuliani says in the recording. "He not only built on my record, he did more - he dealt with the new security threats New York faces and has made our city even safer. This election matters. It's important we keep moving New York forward."
The message concludes: "Please join me, Rudy Giuliani in voting for Mike Bloomberg on November 8."
Mr. Giuliani's voice recording was his first appearance on the campaign trail this year, although his support for the incumbent was never a question. Mr. Giuliani, who has become a high-paid speaker and security consultant since his tenure at City Hall ended, will also join Mr. Bloomberg at a kosher campaign breakfast on Friday.
Political observers said that with the election less than two weeks away and Mr. Bloomberg holding a commanding 31-point lead over the Democratic nominee, Fernando Ferrer, Mr. Giuliani's support on the campaign trail isn't likely to be a deciding factor in this year's election, as it was four years ago. Rather, it is insurance against a narrowing of the gap between the two candidates, and it is further evidence of the exhaustive style of Mr. Bloomberg's campaign.
"It's a campaign that doesn't have to make choices," a public affairs professor at Baruch College, David Birdsell, said. "There are no choices that they can't make. They can use all of the offensive weapons at their disposal, and do that with impunity. It makes it very, very difficult for any other candidate to run an effective opposition campaign."
A former aide to both Mr. Giuliani and Senator D'Amato, Mike Paul, compared the Bloomberg strategy to that of a military commander who needs to send only a small group of soldiers into a battle but sends everybody.
"He's taking no chances, and he's using every tool he has in his tool belt to make sure he's re-elected mayor of this city," he said, adding that he thinks the mayor is aiming to "leave a massive legacy."
Mr. Paul, a reputation-management consultant and the president of MGP & Associates, also said it seems like Mr. Giuliani's appearance in the campaign is timed perfectly to maximize its impact and convince voters to turn out on Election Day.
While Mr. Giuliani has a high profile - especially in New York politics - he's not the only one recording phone messages urging voters to go to the polls. One of the high-profile Democrats for Bloomberg, the studio chief Harvey Weinstein, recorded a voice message for Mr. Bloomberg, saying, "New York City is a great place to make movies. And we've got a great leader in Mike Bloomberg."
President Clinton recorded one for Mr. Ferrer.
As the race for mayor draws to a close, Mr. Bloomberg's fast-paced campaign isn't letting up, despite his lead in the polls.
Yesterday morning, Mr. Bloomberg, his volunteers and his union and political supporters handed out literature at 447 subway stations throughout the city. In all, there are 468 subway stations in the five boroughs. They distributed 250,000 pieces of campaign literature, according to a spokesman, Jordan Barowitz.
It was the biggest such effort that observers of New York City politics can remember.
Yesterday, the campaign also announced that it was launching a new television advertisement, featuring the Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, a Democrat who endorsed Mr. Bloomberg last week. The ad, in which Mr. Markowitz says, "this mayor's accomplishments transcend politics," will air on cable television in Brooklyn.
In another ad, released Tuesday, basketball legend Magic Johnson backs Mr. Bloomberg, telling voters, "He's creating jobs, improving health care, fighting for better schools. The best ballplayers have skill and heart. That's what I see in Mike Bloomberg. He's a go-to guy."
Yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg was asked if he has any "empathy" for his opponent, who has been struggling to gain ground since he won the Democratic primary election last month, and who will likely end up spending less than 10% of what the mayor is spending on his re-election bid. Mr. Bloomberg dodged the question about his feelings for Mr. Ferrer, but he said he is planning to work as hard as he can until November 8.
"I'm just going to go out there and tell my story," he said. "I know what it is to work hard. I know what it is to have a dream and go ahead and fulfill that dream and help others and that's what I'm going to focus on."