It’s something of a mish-mash, but here’s everything we heard over the weekend:
Republicans are desperately hoping that Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan has some “fire in his belly.” On paper, he is a good candidate for Attorney General. A career prosecutor. A law and order type. He even did a stint with the prosecutor’s prosecutor Robert Morgenthau, a Dem icon.
The “fire in the belly” comment is a reference to the hope that Donovan will be different from the party’s underwhelming candidate for state comptroller. Harry Wilson had been regarded as a star in the making — a guy with compelling personal story and stellar resume. But he turned out to be something of a dud on the campaign trail. “He makes Tom DiNapoli look dynamic,” is how one top Republican described him.
Meanwhile, Democrats are feeling relief on one race and consternation on the other.
With regard to the comptroller’s race, they now believe that DiNapoli might be all right after all. That’s basically due to two factors: One is Wilson’s lackluster performance. The other is the fact that the Cuomo camp has stopped looking for a replacement for DiNapoli. “Having Andrew’s people shop around for replacements was undermining Tom more than all of the investigations,” a top Dem said.
With regard to the AG’s race, there’s real dismay. A slugfest has developed between five candidates, with the most pointed exchanges in public and behind the scenes occurring between Nassau DA Kathleen Rice and SEIU 1199-endorsed Eric Schneiderman. Not even the Cuomo camp’s intervention on behalf of Kathleen Rice has quelled the sniping. If anything, it has made matters worse by souring the other candidates on Cuomo.
Time will tell if the Cuomo camp’s handling of these two matters comes back to bite them. If Rice doesn’t win, the next AG, whether it’s a Dem or the Republican is not going to be enamored of Cuomo. And with the Comptroller race, despite the detente, there’s still lingering animosity between the DiNapoli and Cuomo camps. The DiNapoli people believe they were mistreated during the pension investigations by Cuomo’s office, and the Cuomo people think DiNapoli is incompetent.
Meanwhile, on the gubernatorial front, the Cuomo camp is finalizing its plans for the State Convention in Westchester next week. Campaign “volunteer” Jennifer Cunningham is leading the effort.
In a related matter, some longtime political observers think Cuomo may have already selected an LG candidate. This is not based on any specific word from the Cuomo camp. Instead, it’s an extrapolation from the extraordinary silence on the topic. Usually, there’s frenzy of rumors about running mates at about this time. It’s almost impossible to control this sort thing because people who want to be considered actually encourage reporting of the rumors. But there’s been nothing of the kind for many weeks, which is curious indeed.