Thursday, October 14, 2010


Carl's Daily Distraction/Destruction

In just two weeks, GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino has, 1) alleged his Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo had affairs while married to then-wife Kerry Kennedy; 2) gotten into a shouting match with a New York Post reporter -- and called a Daily News columnist a liar; 3) issued a supposedly clarifying video in which he declared that Cuomo's "prowess is legendary"; 4) Sunday, declared his opposition to children "being brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option..."; 5) apologized for previous statement; 6) lost the support of the religious Jewish group which he was originally trying to impress; 7) learned that campaign aide Roger Stone marched in this year's New York Gay Pride Parade -- with Spitzer "madam" candidate Kristen Davis (possibly NSFW pics included).

And on and on goes the fun saga of Mr. Paladino. On an almost daily basis, the candidate can't seem to get out of his own way.  It's one ill-timed, ill-said comment after another -- given in a year when, even in New York, Democrats are particularly vulnerable. Instead, Cuomo has barely had to say a word, as Paladino self-destructs.

(Paladino's bizarre focus on gay issues is especially ironic given the long-ago skeleton in Andrew Cuomo's political closet:  During his father's intense mayoral primary campaign against eventual winner Ed Koch more than 30 years ago, fliers were distributed urging a "VOTE FOR CUOMO, NOT THE HOMO" -- alluding to Koch's suspected homosexuality. While never proven, there was much speculation that then-campaign aide Andrew authorized the fliers.

Usual hard-loyal GOPer Karol Markowicz has had enough. And she isn't the only Republican in recent days to have e-mailed/tweeted me that they aren't voting for Paladino.

This is pretty significant because -- while few people gave the Republican candidate much of a chance against Cuomo in even the best of circumstances -- the party needs something of a credible campaign at the top ticket:  A complete Paladino implosion could cause Republicans to stay home -- thus imperiling chances at maximizing congressional seat pick-ups. There are only two Republicans in the Empire State congressional delegation, but the GOP could capture as many as nine districts in New York alone -- if building Republican momentum becomes a complete wave.

But, such a result requires on a big Republican turnout and a relatively diminished Democratic one.  That's why Paladino has become such a disaster. Not only are his pronouncements turning off Republicans, they are arguably energizing Democrats who previously had little reason to turn out.

Thanks, Carl. Thanks a lot.

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