NEW YORK — Rudolph Giuliani, whose endorsement of Michael Bloomberg after the Sept. 11 attacks is viewed as a key factor in the political novice’s eventual upset win in the New York City mayor’s race, has been used sparingly on this year’s campaign trail even though he has endorsed a former aide.
That may not be an accident. Although Giuliani’s popularity was high in New York City for much of his tenure and soared here as ‘‘America’s mayor’’ for his response to the 2001 attacks, that’s no longer the case.
Appearing on the campaign trail could hurt his former deputy mayor and budget director, Joe Lhota, as much as help him, analysts said.
‘‘He’s gone so far right, he couldn’t get elected in New York City again,’’ said Joseph Mercurio, a political consultant not linked to a campaign.
In January, Giuliani urged Lhota to run for mayor after he was commended for steering the Metropolitan Transit Authority through Hurricane Sandy. Giuliani said he would help the campaign.
Giuliani has hosted a few fund-raisers, but he has largely stayed out of the public eye.