Posts Tagged ‘Gillibrand’
On March 31, there was a special election in NY-20 to fill the vacancy created by Kirsten Gillibrand’s appointment to the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.
On election night, it was essentially a tie, and we faced weeks of counting to determine the winner. Back then I predicted that the Republican, Jim Tedisco, would come out on top. I was wrong.
Tedisco conceded yesterday when it became apparent that he could not make up the few hundred voted difference with few ballots remaining to count.
The closeness of this race likely means there will be a rematch in the fall of 2010. While this gives the Democrats some bragging rights, it remained close enough that Republicans can find the silver lining.
Here is what I wrote the day before the election:
This is an absolute must-win for the Democrats – because it will be seen as a litmus test on the Democrat Congress and on President Obama. If the Democrat candidate, Scott Murphy, doesn’t get elected, the shockwaves will be felt from San Francisco to New York to D.C. and everywhere in between.
In some ways, the Republicans couldn’t be in a better spot. If Republican Jim Tedisco wins, the momentum will have shifted less than 100-days into Obama’s administration. If Tedisco loses, but keeps it close (within 5 points) it will still have a lasting impact on the way the Democrats in the House and President Obama play their cards (including “card check”) going into 2010. For Republicans, this is a win-win, as long as a “loss” is close.
Tedisco kept it plenty close enough to have an impact. Since I wrote that on March 30, we have seen the top two Democrat priorities – cap and trade and card check – take on water and there is a virtual certainty that both are dead this year.
So, I was wrong about predicting Tedisco’s win, but I remain convinced that the close loss has helped Republicans.
This is a very smart move on Paterson’s part. Gillibrand is from one of the most Republican districts in New York. She won her seat after Congressman John Sweeney was busted on drunken driving charges with a woman other than his wife in the car in the wee hours of the morning.
Gillibrand then defended her last November against a multi-millionaire Republican in what was the most expensive Congressional race in the country.
Having Gillibrand on the statewide ticket will help all other statewide Democrats. But the liberals in New York don’t see it that way – their screaming bloody murder. Well, not all liberals. The person pushing Gillibrand the hardest was Senator Chuck Schumer.
Schumer is a smart, ruthless, self-absorbed kind of guy. And he is a bully. I watched him first-hand when I was staffing the Waco hearings back in 1995. He would badger witnesses that he didn’t like, he played to the press every time he opened his mouth. In short, he tried to make the hearings into a circus as to discredit the importance of them.
So, now Gillibrand will join Chuck’s circus in the Senate. Word of caution for her: don’t get between Chuck and a news camera, you’ll get run over by Chuck.