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December 9, 2007

Katie Levinson: The Woman Behind Rudy Giuliani

katie levinson walking with rudy giuliani

Katie Levinson (at left) with Rudy Giuliani

Photo Credit: Damon Winter/The New York Times/Redux

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Katie Levinson sits in Andrew's Coffee Shop, two blocks from her office on New York City's busy Fulton Street, nibbling on white melba toast and gearing up for the afternoon ahead. As communications director for Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign, she has to be prepared for anything.

Levinson, 32, has a professional and personal stake in getting Giuliani elected. She was on Capitol Hill the day of the terrorist attacks; after the jet flew into the Pentagon, just four miles from her office, she remembers driving home and seeing "guys with machine guns on every corner." She believes Giuliani is the right man for the job and that he'll "keep us safe."

To that end, Levinson is working long hours on his behalf. Each day, she leaves her one-bedroom apartment at dawn, stops at Dunkin' Donuts for coffee ("half-decaf, half-caf — black"), and plows through a 2-inch stack of newspaper clippings at the office. She attends a 7:30 a.m. staff meeting, fields reporters' calls, and receives hundreds of e-mails by the hour. "Three in the afternoon is generally when something pops," she says. That often means an attack from an opponent. It's part of Levinson's job to fire back at presidential hopefuls, like Joe Biden ("I, Katie Levinson, have a better chance of becoming president than he does") and John Edwards ("You almost have to feel sorry for the guy") when they criticize her candidate.

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