Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 1, 2008
POLITICS: A New King In Albany?

The NY Times reports that Long Island Republican Peter King is considering a run to reclaim the scandal-tarred New York governorship for the GOP. It's early yet - King is up for re-election to the House, and won't make a formal decision until after the fall elections. The 63-year-old King may also wait to see how badly things continue to go with David Paterson (presumably Paterson, who King had warm words for before the nasty revelations started pouring out, will hang on to 2010, but if he were to resign, a special election would be held earlier), whether other GOP powerhouses like Rudy Giuliani elect to get in the race (reports have suggested that Rudy might be interested in a special election but not in 2010), and whether King's sometime ally John McCain wins the White House, thus potentially offering a chance at a job like the Homeland Security post (it's 11 years now since McCain sniped that "the only 'Republican' organization I have ever noticed Mr. King represent is the Irish Republican Army,"; those wounds healed long enough for King to be a vocal McCain backer in 2000, though he was equally outspoken in support of the Giuliani campaign this time around).

King is an eclectic sort of politician with a 'maverick' streak of his own, a pro-union Republican who is generally moderate on economic and spending issues but is a confirmed hawk on what his campaign ads bluntly called "the War on Islamic terror" (he made headlines in the past with broadsides against subversive mosques; more here), pro-life (he's Catholic), and an immigration hawk. Stylistically, his blunt, two-fisted-Irishman style is well-suited to New York's pugilistic politicals, and particularly to the always-dicey task of translating a downstate politician into support in the Rust Belt areas of upstate NY. And for now, King is talking a good game about getting the prostrate NY GOP off the canvas at a time when the state's Democrats ought to be on the ropes themselves:

He pointed, for example, to what he said had been the reluctance of state Republican leaders to call for Eliot Spitzer's resignation as governor immediately after federal authorities identified him as a client of an expensive prostitution operation.

He also noted that Republicans in New York were so fragmented that they tended to run on their own individual records and, more important, keep both the national and state parties at arm's length.

"We have to get our act together as a party," he said. "We have to stand for more. We have to come up with an agenda."

+++

"I just think that a lot of Republicans have become gun-shy," Mr. King said. "We have to be more outspoken. When Al D'Amato was there, he was outspoken. And when Rudy Giuliani was mayor, he was outspoken. We have to stop playing it safe."

I'm not the biggest King fan, but he's a serious guy who would be a strong candidate. This could end up being a race worth watching.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:59 AM | Politics 2008 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Although I am not a huge fan of King's social policies, I admire his honesty about it. He used to be my congressman, and acknowledged his anti-choice stand hurt him in the district, but he said it was his own personal beliefs. Plus, he was the largest backer of english as the official language of the US I know of. And I agree with that one.

Lt. Governors are picked like VPs are. In no way are they really thought of as able replacements, I remember Malcom Wilson was one, Betsy McCaughy (however you spell it comes to mind). So does Alban Barkley and Andrew Johnson. Spiro Agnew, hey even Richard Nixon, whom Ike couldn't stand and didn't respect. OK, we can get lucky with a TR sometimes (Hannah to the contrary).

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at April 1, 2008 1:15 PM

Paterson's problem in a nutshell is that he did a lot of stuff that nobody would care about if he was still a State Senator from Harlem, but being Governor is different.

Posted by: The Crank at April 1, 2008 1:22 PM

Hey, I rarely comment on your blog since I generally agree with what you write. But I just wanted to let you know that you are being read.

Keep it up!

Tom Comerford

Posted by: Tom Comerford at April 1, 2008 6:37 PM
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