Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Q-ing Up Cuomo

The shocking Q-Poll that was released this morning, must be vibrating electrically in the Cuomo camp-and it means that the Rose Garden strategy may not have been the best approach to this year's electorate. Paladino, in our view, has been helped by the marginalization effort of the media-and the attempts to label him crazy may actually backfire because the voters appear to have a yen for crazy this year.

At the same time, if played properly, this wake up call might be a good thing for Democrats if it generates real fear and loathing in the party's rank and file. Up until now-with an apparent coronation in the works, and a nominee that hasn't been warm and fuzzy with anyone-the projected turnout for November couldn't have been too high. But fear is a great motivator, and if it does the trick the energy may work out well for the down ballot senate candidates.

That being said, we believe that the Paladino threat is for real-and the campaign's idea to hand out, "Albany Slugger," baseball bats will resonate with many voters. If this poll proves that it isn't an outlier, than Cuomo's decision to embrace the WFP may, in hindsight, prove to have been the wrong move and the wrong message for these times.

Which gets us to the Bloomberg endorsement-and the mayor's statement of support elides a key issue that is roiling voters from coast to coast-the size and scope of government, and the taxes needed to support it. Here's a partial clip of the mayor's endorsement:

"I look forward to working with him to advance his fiscal and economic growth agenda, focusing on upgrading and expanding our city and state infrastructure, including completing major rebuilding and transportation projects, in order to create jobs and build a foundation for our economic future."

"We need a governor who knows that the partisan politics of the past cannot be the way of the future. Andrew Cuomo has made the focus of his campaign to build a coalition for reform that transcends party labels and brings together Democrats, Republicans and independents together behind his agenda and I am proud to stand with him in that effort.”

To us, this demonstrates how out of touch the mayor is-and it remains to be seen if an endorsement from a tax hiking, personal freedom-intruding, elitist billionaire will be helpful-or quite the opposite. Here's the Bloomberg money quote that underscores our point:  "New Yorkers are angry with Albany, and I think for good reason, but anger is not a governing strategy.”

But the thing is, Mike has no idea why the voters are angry-and, in our view, it doesn't begin and end with Pedro Espada and Hiram Monseratte. But for Bloomberg to really get this, it would entail a degree of self awareness that the mayor has yet to demonstrate to any great degree.

So, as Daily Politics has said, "It's On." And if covering politics is like covering a prize fight, than it looks as if this match will go the full 15 rounds.