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New York's Odd Couple

They say politics makes strange bedfellows, but the publishing business can create odd couplings as well.

Former Republican Sen. Alfonse D'Amato announced he will be penning an advice column for George magazine, whose editor-in-chief is John F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of Democratic stalwart Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

And his first piece of advice was to JFK Jr., saying in a news conference Tuesday that Kennedy might soon "be ready to lead the city of New York."

Kennedy's response? "Really, uh, not today, certainly."

The suggestion came as the two men announced that D'Amato will be writing a political advice column, Ask Alfonse, for Kennedy's magazine.

D'Amato, who spent 18 years representing New York in Washington before he was defeated by Democrat Chuck Schumer last year, has not exactly been a friend of the Kennedys.

In his autobiography, Power Pasta and Politics, D'Amato said "Kennedy's dual standards never ceased to amaze me."

Yet he treated his future boss much more kindly in suggesting Kennedy has what it takes for public office.

"Kennedy is doing it just the right way," D'Amato said. "He's got that electricity. He's got that persona. This is a great magazine he's put together ... He can do and be whatever he chooses, and he will choose in the fullness of time to pursue public service."

To which Kennedy responded: "This magazine has always been an exploration of political issues. ... It isn't politics, but it bumps up against politics. This is what it is now, but if it changes into something else - and I'm not being coy here - but if it changes into something else in a number of years, great."

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