We’ve only known who is facing off in New York for the governor’s race for only a short period of time, and in that short period of time, it’s gotten nasty. Fast. And not just normal nasty, it’s gotten really nasty.
Carl Paladino, the Republican real estate developer from Buffalo is facing off against Andrew Cuomo, son of former Governor Mario. Cuomo is the current attorney general of New York and was a former HUD Secretary for Bill Clinton. Cuomo is the odds-on favorite, which isn’t all that surprising, given that Democrats historically have a huge advantage over Republicans in the state. Not that Democrats really appear to know what to do with that advantage, but if they ever decide to get their act together, it’s there. I digress.
Paladino is kind of a firebrand. As in, he stated in an interview that he wants to ‘take a baseball bat’ to Albany. He broke Ronald Reagan’s cardinal rule, calling former Republican governor George Pataki a ‘degenerate idiot’ and saying that State Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver ‘belongs in Attica,’ a reference to the famous prison in New York. Throughout all of this, Cuomo has kept his distance, counting on Paladino to implode on his own. The problem is, what would usually qualify as an implosion seems to be fueling Paladino’s popularity. Recent polls have put Paladino only six points behind Cuomo.
And of course, it gets better. Paladino admitted to having fathered an illegitimate child during the course of an affair he had with one of his employees years ago. Now, verbal pitbull that he is, he decided it would be a good idea to toss out unfounded allegations that Cuomo has his own skeletons. Cuomo was formerly married to Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert Kennedy and they divorced some years ago.
Paladino makes for good TV, but he’s a joke. He reminds me of a loudmouth drunk shouting obscenities on the street after he gets cut off at the bar. Anger can be good in politics, but rage is no substitute for adult policies that will actually move this country forward out of this morass. And while the polls may indicate that the race is close today, my prediction is that come election day, Cuomo’s going to take this guy in what’s going to be the biggest statewide landslide for a Democrat anywhere in the country.