Saturday, February 6, 2010

New York State of Mind

Things are really heating up in NY these days. Well not the weather, but politically speaking we are heading into some really hot weather ahead…

Normally, I would give you rundown on what is happening in New York. But, as was reported earlier by our crack team of political analysts at Commentarama, the races for the open seats in NY are wide open. And I thought I would fill you in with a little more detail.

First off, you should know that our State Primary will not be held until September 14, 2010, so we have a long way to go before we actually know who is really running against whom. But here are the players so far:

David Patterson, technically the incumbent, is facing a strong challenge from his own party. The state Democratic Party leadership and President Obama have been trying for months to convince Gov. Patterson NOT to run. His numbers are very low and he is unlikely to win against anyone running against him. And it is really embarrassing for party leadership when they have to tell a candidate openly that he is not wanted. He actually hasn’t been that bad of a Governor.

Challenge from the Left - Andrew Cuomo, current AG and scion of NY Democratic royalty. His father is Mario Cuomo, the former Governor from 1983 to 1994. You could say that the Cuomos are the Kennedys of New York. As a matter of fact, Andrew is the ex- husband of Kathleen Kennedy, daughter of Robert Kennedy. He is a tough AG and a formidable opponent for Patterson. He has not formally thrown his hat in the ring, but has announced that he will make his announcement in April.

Challenge from the Right - Rick Lazio –former four term US Congressman for District 2 in NY in the ‘90’s. Republican from Manhattan and Long Island, Lazio ran as a relative unknown against Hillary Clinton in her 2002 successful bid for Senator in NY. He was a late comer to that race replacing Rudy Giuliani at the last minute when Rudy dropped out for “health reasons”. Though Lazio lost by a wide margin, he held his own against a much better known candidate in Clinton. So far, Lazio is the only Republican who has indicated any interest in running for Governor. Currently he is a Managing director of J.P. Morgan Chase.

U.S. Senate #1
Because of the nomination of Hillary Clinton to Secretary of State, we are in the unusual position of having to elect both of our Senators

Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed by Patterson to replace Clinton as Senator of New York. Before her appointment to the Senate, she served barely two terms as Congresswoman from the 20th Congressional District, a largely rural district in eastern New York. Considered a “Blue Dog” Democrat in the House, she has since done an about face and now does whatever Senator Charles Schumer tells her to do. So much does she do Schumer’s bidding that she has earned the nickname Schumer’s “Tweety Bird”.

Challenger from the Left – Harold Ford, former four term Congressman and erstwhile “carpet bagger” from Tennessee. He has already had an unsuccessful bid for the Senate against Bill Frist in Tennessee. All the State Democrats including Schumer are bent out of shape that this young upstart has decided to challenge Gillibrand. Fortunately for him, the Democrats can’t openly call him a “carpet bagger” without sounding a bit hypocritical. They vehemently defended Hillary Clinton against attacks for her carpet baggerness. At this point Gillibrand in leading in the polls , but Ford has just begun his tour of the state. He is currently the most evil of beings –a Wall Street Investment Banker.

Challenges from the Right - There are several Republicans making noise about running against Gillibrand since she is the most vulnerable:

George Pataki, former three term Governor (1994 to 2008). Our 9/11 Governor and generally liked. Though like any three term Governor, his popularity grew thin at the end.

Pete King, current Congressman from 3rd Congressional District in Nassau County on Long Island since 1993. He is one of the two Republican Congressmen who represents New York and he has also been the earliest and most vocal opponent of the KSM trials in NYC and in Civil court.

Marc Mukasey, son of former US AG Michael Mukasey and partner in Rudy Giuliani’s law firm. I don’t know much about him. According to the New York Post, he is a” former prosecutor who has represented a string of high-profile people, including an official with Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme-running company and Democratic fund-raiser Hassan Namazee.”

All have flip-flopped several times about running, so it’s still wide open.

Senate #2

Sen. Charles “Chuck” Schumer so far is facing no opposition from either side. However (and this is a BIG however) recent polls shows that his popularity has shrunk considerably in the last few months. He now commands only 47% approval rating in the latest Marist Poll and that number is shrinking fast. Where no one thought that Schumer was beatable, there is a very outside chance that he could be if challenged by a really formidable opponent. Rudy Giuliani might have been that opponent, but he has already state emphatically that he will not run.

Other Race to follow

Charles “Charlie” Rangel is up for re-election and for the first time in many years may be facing a serious challenger. His former campaign director Vince Morgan has decided to challenge him in the primary, though there are no polls yet that indicate which way this could go. As I have discussed before, Rangel is up to his eyebrows in unresolved tax issues and his constituents are getting restless. Especially since it came to light that Rangel is spending all of his campaign money on legal fees.

As of now there are no Republicans or any other conservative challengers for Rangel and I doubt that there will ever be.

We are very early in the process in New York, but I will keep you apprised of any new developments…


AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Thanks for the analysis. It sounds like New York could actually make a dramatic shift to the right, if only the Republicans could find some decent candidates to run?

Unknown said...

Bev: Your races look a lot more interesting than ours, although Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep" anti-Campbell ad has been making it all over the net as one of the worst political ads of all time. The biggest excitement we have right now is waiting to see if Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown will ever actually formally enter the gubernatorial race. Except for Campbell, I think your Republicans have a better shot at winning than ours.

How I'd love to see Schumer and Rangel gone forever!

StanH said...

Bev, if it can be done in MA, it can be done NY.

I think it was with Robert Kennedy moving into NY becoming senator and later running for president. I like Lazio, but Pataki has a better ID statewide, for good or bad.

It would be great to see Schumer beaten, and quit hearing that sanctimonious jerk on the TV.

Where Rangel’s district is he will likely stay, his constituency only wants to know, “what’s in it for me.”

paul schrade said...

Andrew was married to Kerry not Kathleen...Paul Schrade

MegaTroll said...

Thanks for the update Bev. It would be great if Schumer got beat too. I hope the Republicans can get some good candidates. Even getting one seat would be great!

Writer X said...

If there was ever a time to run against Schumer and Rangel, this is the year. What a couple of crooks.

AndrewPrice said...

Paul, Welcome.

Writer X, How great would it be to see so many scions of the left go down in one election?

BevfromNYC said...

Paul, Welcome and you are correct. Thanks for correcting me. I cite checked every fact, but that one. (of course...)

StanH - Rangel's district is in Northern Manhattan including Harlem and South Bronx. I think there is a war on all incumbents, so Rangel may have a hard time. His age could work against him here too (78 years old).

Writer X: You are right. Now's the time. It's just getting someone capable of running against Schumer. He has his sites set on Majority Leader when Reid loses in Nevada. Ugh...

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