Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

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Yes, it's really true: Rudy Giuliani is getting ready to run for president, expanding the crop of GOP frontrunners to three.

Fans, allies, and even a few Bushies who like New York's 9/11 mayor say he's finally picking up the pace to get to the position where he can officially announce, likely by summer. They tell us that he's been moving slowly only because he wanted to test the waters as he campaigned around the country for Republican lawmakers this year, and because, frankly, he's so popular that he can get in when ever he feels like it.

"Giuliani is for real," says a Bush adviser. But first, of course, he has to clean up his meandering ways in key GOP issues like abortion, gay rights, and guns, all of which his advisers say he can finesse. To help, he's wooing conservatives who would be willing to go public to back him. That's bad for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who wants to be the other big to take on Sen. John McCain and who has himself been wowing Christian conservatives who would otherwise be leery of backing a Mormon.