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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

NY-Sen: Bruno Kneecaps Pirro

Posted by DavidNYC

Oh, this is good - well, good and bad. Read on:

Jeanine F. Pirro's bid to unseat Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton suffered an embarrassing setback on Tuesday when the State Legislature's most powerful Republican said she should call the whole thing off and run for state attorney general instead.

The remarks by the official, Joseph L. Bruno, the majority leader of the State Senate, forced out into the open simmering concerns about Ms. Pirro's candidacy, which has been beset by gaffes and fund-raising difficulties. And it heightened the sense that the state Republican Party is nervous about its future and riven by squabbles as its de facto leader, Gov. George E. Pataki, prepares to step down at the end of next year.

Mr. Bruno said that Ms. Pirro, who was elected Westchester district attorney three times, would be a better fit as a candidate for attorney general. "I have said from the beginning, and I know a lot of my colleagues, and people within the party, share the thought, that she would make a great attorney general," Mr. Bruno told reporters. "By background, by her experience, by her prosecutorial record. And I hope that before this procedure gets too much further, that Jeanine Pirro would reconsider and run for A.G."

Wow. That must feel like a punch to the gut for Pirro. The fact is, though, that Bruno is right - Pirro would make a great AG candidate for her party. She has the right background for it, and her association with the Republican Party would be less of an issue just by the nature of the office. (It doesn't matter what the AG thinks about the Iraq war or Social Security.) And the Dem AG hopefuls aren't nearly as strong as the top-tier Gov and Sen candidates. If Pirro heeds this bit of advice, then the most powerful AG's office in the nation is in peril of being shut down.

Of course, it would be a deeply humiliating climb-down for Pirro, and I doubt she'll do it precisely because Bruno has suggested it. If Bruno really cared about Pirro and the AG race, he wouldn't have blathered to reporters. He would have arranged a private meeting with Pirro herself. But Bruno probably has neither the clout nor the established goodwill to engage in that kind of backroom politicking anymore. Rather, this outburst was simply a bit of far-sighted ass-covering. By distancing himself so openly from Pirro, he's trying to insulate himself from her inevitable spectacular failure.

What precisely Bruno is protecting is beyond my understanding, though. The New York Republican Party has been circling the drain for some time now. An old guy like Bruno (he's in his mid-70s) ought to be considering retirement and a cushy sinecure.

Posted at 11:19 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, New York | Technorati

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Considering the possibility that Pirro won't get the CPNY nomination (hell, does she have a shot at the IPNY nomination either?).. she's in a pretty bad spot.

Also, there's the possibility of a three-way split in the Governor's race (with the possibility that Weld gets the Republican nomination, Golisano gets the Independence nomination, and another candidate gets the Conservative nomination)..

in other words, the New York Republicans are screwed.

In that spirit, check out Dan Maffei (running in NY-25), and Judy Aydelott, Ben Shuldiner, and John Hall (running in NY-19).

Kirsten Gillibrand is also running in NY-20.

Considering the strong upballot force we'll have, quite a few Republicans (Kuhl, Fossella, Reynonds) might be in danger.

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 29, 2005 11:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I continue to hope that a stronger challenger emerges in the New York Senate race and holds Hillary Clinton's margin down to 55%. If she wins by 2-1 or better, the "unstoppable Hurricane Hillary" will be the story of the night....regardless of whether the Dems take over one or both Houses of Congress. On the other hand, I could probably live with it if Spitzer and Clinton coattails help us win a couple GOP-held House districts.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 30, 2005 02:08 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I disagree Mark--it would be very difficult to categorize even a landslide victory as making Hillary unstoppable.

We have an incumbent Democratic senator running against an imploded Republican party in one of the bluest states in the nation. Sounds like a formula for a landslide.

Then again, it doesn't matter what the facts are...it matters what the media says.

Posted by: hekebolos [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 30, 2005 04:49 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

While the Dem AG candidates — Andrew Cuomo and Mark Green — may not be the shoe-ins that Spitzer seems to be at this point, they are excellent candidates. It's ashame that Democrats will have to choose one of these over the other.

Posted by: evan [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 30, 2005 11:14 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment