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The Paladino Factor

October 26, 2010

This was supposed to be a Republican year. How could they not make gains across the board?  How, after the atrocious performance of the Democrats over the last several years, could the GOP not capitalize?

Answer: Carl Paladino.

We really did overhear your neighbor in the checkout line last night. She said: “I’d vote for just about anyone as an alternative to the Democrats … anyone except that character, Paladino!”

In fact, people everywhere are recoiling at Paladino, both the man and the idea of him.

Of course, it wasn’t always this way. There was a time when his anger was appealing. There was a time when his rough edges were indicia of cherished “outsider” status. There was a time when it was thought that he just might give Andrew Cuomo a run for the money.

But all that changed after “the confrontation.”  We speak of the exchange between Paladino and a New York Post reporter at the Business Council gathering in Bolton Landing. Film of that confrontation – or at least the part where Paladino responds with a threatening gesture and comment – was shown on national television again and again.

The inescapable conclusion of anyone watching the clip was that Paladino was not suited to be governor. It was a defining moment for Paladino and the turning point of the campaign.

Andrew Cuomo seized the opportunity with the best (and most ironic) six words he has uttered:  “Anger is not a governing strategy.”

The Paladino campaign then collapsed and it has been pulling down the GOP ever since.  In this regard, what seemed like a lock – a GOP takeover of the state senate – is now in doubt.

Three races that seemed like sure pickups for the Republicans are now very close. In the North Country, Democrat incumbent Darrel Aubertine has clawed back and now leads by a narrow margin. On Long Island, Democrat incumbent Brian Foley has done the same thing. And in Buffalo, Republican Jack Quinn’s lead has narrowed to within the margin of error over Democrat Tim Kennedy.

In a sign of real trouble for the Republicans, party elder Frank Padavan is in danger of losing. So is maverick Republican Greg Ball in the Hudson Valley.

If this trend continues and the Republicans miss their great opportunity in New York, the actions of the New York Post reporter involved in the confrontation should be reviewed by more than journalism professors.

Did Fred Dicker act appropriately in that situation? Did he intend to provoke Paladino? Did he violate the code of objectivity? Or were his actions in the public interest? Did he do us all a favor by exposing Paladino as unfit for office?

We think these are real questions that should be contemplated. Our group happens to be split on the matter.  Some of us were there to witness the exchange and think Dicker went out of his way to provoke Paladino.  Others think that Dicker wasn’t doing anything out of ordinary for him – that he was just being his combative self.  Still others in our group are jaded and view this incident as one of many low points by the media during this campaign season.








6 Comments leave one →
  1. whiskers permalink
    October 26, 2010 2:58 PM

    Where are you getting your information from?

    • observer permalink
      October 26, 2010 7:10 PM

      probably from Siena

      • whiskers permalink
        October 26, 2010 10:25 PM

        there have been no new siena polls. I bet the Republicans will air a last minute bombshell ad on Aubertine’s corrupt dealings with wind companies that will cost him reelection.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    October 26, 2010 9:49 PM

    American History. Dicker’s brand of journalism is a throwback to the earlier era when reporters openly promoted candidates of their liking. It isn’t right or wrong. It just is.

  3. Mark Keister permalink
    October 27, 2010 2:28 AM

    Imploding Nut Jobs – does not take much to elicit stupendously stupid remarks/threats from seriously impaired individuals.

    Just look across the country – every where this year we have these bizarre, near rabid folks spewing hate and confusion, then imploding…check out Meg Whitman boasting her move to California 30 years ago when things were really working, her opponent was the Governor then; same state – Carly Fiorina putting up the most bizarre ads, cloaked in the flag and a record of phenomenal business losses at HP. Or closer to home, the non-witch with no knowledge of the Constitution she “protects” or the whack job racist up-state . . .

    We could use more Fred Dickers poking these guys – see what vents!

  4. observer permalink
    October 27, 2010 6:30 PM

    @ whiskers

    No new polls, but they are in the field now. Let’s see if the races match up to those mentioned in this post.

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