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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

NY-Gov: Magic 8-Ball Says, "Signs Point to No"

Posted by DavidNYC

It's always interesting to watch a prominent politician's career slowly, slowly circle the drain. It's like a toilet bowl inside a centrifuge: There's already a morbid coriolis effect before someone reaches out to finally flush it. George Pataki is most definitely jiggling the handle:

With Gov. George E. Pataki expected to announce his political plans as soon as next month, talk of his future has consumed the capital. And many of the signs are pointing away from Albany.

Numerous lobbyists, lawmakers and political operatives here say they do not expect him to run for a fourth term as governor. They point to a slow but steady exodus of aides from the Pataki administration, to unenviable poll numbers, and to indications that some of his supporters are beginning to cozy up to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a leading Democratic contender in the 2006 governor's race.

Former Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato, a friend and confidant of Mr. Pataki's who helped make him governor, has shared a few meals with Mr. Spitzer and has praised him publicly. And Mr. D'Amato's former chief of staff, John Zagame, was listed as a sponsor on the printed invitations to two fund-raisers that Mr. Spitzer held last year.

Ouch! That's gotta sting! Al D'Amato, the very reason George Pataki won the governor's mansion in the first place back in 1994, has turned Judas. Personally, I have no idea how Eliot could stand even five minutes of breaking bread with Senator Space Alien, but then again, the Spitzer's got some serious fortitude. As distatesful as it may be, it's a canny move that hammers a few more nails into Pataki's political coffin.

A Marist Poll from a couple weeks ago showed Spitzer dominating Pataki by an astonishing 60-33. Considering the absolute highest number a New York Democrat can expect in a perfect storm is about 65%, that's just devastating. (Yes, Schumer got over 70% last year, but he also wasted many millions of dollars to do that.) Siena College also had Spitzer up by a less stratospheric 48-34 (and admittedly, Pataki inched up a bit from their prior poll). But no matter what, I just don't see how Pataki could ever want this race.

Posted at 01:21 PM in New York | Technorati