Where are the Republicans?
This will be the biggest election ever in New York State. All—and I do mean all—the major offices are up for grabs. It’s a rare election when not one, but two, United States senators will be running at the same time.
There are all kinds of indications that this will be a Republican year. The unthinkable happened in Massachusetts when the seat once held by John and then Teddy Kennedy went to a young “who-he?” Republican. All the Republicans have to do is find some people who are known to the public who will run for office.
It turns out that this may be easier said than done. As usual, they turned out the usual suspects. First there was Rudy Giuliani. They always raise Rudy from the political dead. You name the office, the Republicans were going to run Rudy. I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Rudy wasn’t going to run. You see, there’s this guy, Bernie Kerik, Rudy’s former wunderkind. It turns out the man is a crook and that he was crooking on Giuliani’s watch.
It doesn’t stop there. Giuliani thought he would be president and went down to Florida with the mistaken belief that the Floridians would elect him. As they say in gin rummy, he got “schmeared.”
Finally, Rudy ain’t running because he’s making too much money, the kind of money that you are not allowed to make in public office. His firm has represented a lot of people, some of whom might not pass the smell test. Interestingly, the one situation in which he might actually win at this point would be if he were to run against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. She’s not doing well in the polls. But Giuliani hasn’t got the guts.
Another name that the Republicans seem to perpetually rely on is George Pataki. He is a Republican super-star and if the Republican constellation were aligned just right, he might win. But he, too, is making big money in his law firm. And polls show that he wouldn’t reach first base against Andrew Cuomo in a run for governor, and Pataki doesn’t want to be greeting constituents at the U.S. Capitol.
After those two, the Republicans have folks like John Faso, who they may just run for comptroller. There seems to be a bit of a food fight between Andrew Cuomo and Tom DiNapoli, the incumbent comptroller, but DiNapoli has a lot of friends who will be out there helping him.
The Republican wannabes who are attempting to run are a pathetic lot who have been self-destructing before our very eyes. Like I said, no bench at all. But unlike the Yankees, they can’t even buy talent.n
Alan S. Chartock is president and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and an executive publisher at The Legislative Gazette.
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