It is not often that City Hall reporters dare to ask visiting dignitaries about their sex lives. But these are the days of Viagra, when frank discussions of impotence can seem as natural as talking about fiscal conservatism.So when Elizabeth Dole, president of the American Red Cross, graced a City Hall news conference with her meticulous presence yesterday, everyone in the room knew for certain that one question would be asked — a rather indelicate question that had nothing to do with her organization ....Mrs. Dole accepted a proclamation from Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. After talking passionately about how important the Red Cross’s efforts are in places like Rwanda and Bosnia, she invited questions. There was a brief inquiry about mudslides in Italy, and then The Question was posed.“In a normal time, I would ask you what would be your view of the Presidential candidacy of Mayor Giuliani,” the reporter said. “But there are more pressing matters of national importance. And it seems your husband was one of the first people who used Viagra. What advice would you give to men and women in this nation about the use of that pill?”
Mr. Giuliani laughed nervously and shook his head in disgust.
Mrs. Dole, however, had been prepped.
“I’ll make this statement,” she said, smiling without a hint of fluster.
“He was in the protocol, and it’s a great drug, O.K.?”