The New York State Republican Party nominated Marc Molinaro for governor at its state convention. Although several other candidates had sought the nomination, all except Molinaro had either ended their efforts or switched to seeking other office by the opening of the convention.
Mayoral candidates fighting and occasionally smiling, a governor working his fellow electeds and the cameras, a hometown president passing through. Those are among the images in our 2017 photo retrospective.
Shot entirely in the five boroughs, our photo retrospective reflects our 2017 focus on the mayoral election and particularly on challengers looking to defeat Mayor de Blasio. There’s more, however, with a mix of light moments, conflict and loss.
Former New York governor George Pataki today endorsed Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis in tomorrow’s election. Speaking at a press conference in Middle Village Pataki praised Malliotakis and castigated incumbent Bill de Blasio. He also endorsed City Council candidate Bob Holden, who’s running against incumbent Liz Crowley in the district that includes Middle Village.
Here’s the full press conference:
“That’s fake news, pal … don’t believe that nonsense.” That was the retort of a Malliotakis supporter today when I asked former New York governor George Pataki why he supports replacing Mayor Bill de Blasio despite record decreases in crime and a resilient economy in the City during de Blasio’s time in office. Pataki spoke at a Middle Village press conference, endorsing Republican/Conservative mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis and Republican City Council candidate Bob Holden.
George Pataki’s not for Trump, at least for now.
Former New York governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate George Pataki expressed significant reservations about presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump Tuesday night, saying that he does not endorse Trump and that he’s “still up in the air” on whether he’ll vote for Trump. Pataki was among the earliest Republican critics of Trump, condemning some of Trump’s comments in August 2015 as the two campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination. (After his own presidential campaign ended Pataki endorsed Marco Rubio and, after Rubio dropped out, John Kasich.)
During an appearance at the Metropolitan Republican Club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side Pataki described himself as a “loyal Republican” who wants to support the party’s nominee. Condemning Trump’s “demoniz[ation] of ethnic groups out of stupidity”, Pataki said that he will not “blindly support” Trump in the absence of a coherent political philosophy. Pataki added that he hopes to see such a coherent philosophy and that he could support Trump should that occur. When I asked Pataki afterwards why, after nearly a year of Trump campaigning, he thought it possible that Trump would change his approach Pataki replied “I have hope” rather than an expectation of that happening.
Here’s a clip of Pataki during an audience Q&A and in a brief conversation with me afterwards:
Republican presidential candidate George Pataki’s most recent New Hampshire campaign swing was overwhelmingly focused on the San Bernardino attack and ISIS. I joined two of his three open press events Friday; a visit to a retirement community in Lebanon, New Hampshire and an appearance at a Chesire County Republican Committee holiday party.
Pataki devoted most of his remarks at both events to the San Bernardino attack and ISIS, and most of the dozen or so questions posed to him focused on the same topics.
Pataki’s first stop was Quail Hollow, a booming retirement community just north of the center of Lebanon which is itself right in the middle of New Hampshire. Pataki’s early evening visit to the dining room had the potential for catastrophe, as interrupting dinner can be a hazardous move for a politician. As he walked around greeting the 35 or so residents seated for dinner Pataki quipped “escape now if you don’t want to hear me talk.” A woman responded “we’ll listen to you, we’ll give you a chance.” They did, listening closely and engaging with Pataki, albeit after another woman bellowed “Quiet!” as residents talked over Pataki initially. He wisely warmed up the crowd by announcing that his mother’s 100th birthday is today (Monday).
“Happy Whatever to all of you. No Happy Holidays.” That was George Pataki’s mangled attempt at fighting against the War on Christmas Friday evening. Pataki began his remarks to a group of New Hampshire Republicans by criticizing generic holiday greetings, saying that “I refuse to” refer to his firm’s December party as a “holiday party”.
Seemingly unaware of the contradiction, Pataki closed his remarks by saying “have a wonderful, wonderful holiday.” The event he spoke at? It was the Chesire County, New Hampshire Republicans “Holiday Gathering.”
What’s not to like?
Former New York governor and largely unknown 2016 Republican presidential candidate George Pataki has remarkably high unfavorable ratings. He barely registers in polling on who voters support, garnering 1% on good days, yet has extremely high negative ratings. A Public Policy Polling survey released last Thursday reported that 16% of New Hampshire Republican primary voters view Pataki favorably while 45% view him unfavorably. Pataki has received such skewed views since summer. For example, a University of New Hampshire/WMUR poll released August 3rd reported a favorable rating from 18% of those polled, but an unfavorable rating from 43%.
Such high unfavorables are remarkable considering the lack of voter attention he’s received. His campaign is virtually broke, unable to afford advertising, and the modest crowds he draws while campaigning don’t appear particularly hostile.
I asked Pataki about this decidedly negative view Friday, as he left a campaign appearance in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Here’s what he had to say:
George Pataki’s presidential campaign’s newly filed financial report shows that it’s insolvent as of September 30th, with cash on hand of $13,570 and an outstanding loan from Pataki of $20,000. It’s a shockingly low balance, requiring a strong imagination to believe that Pataki’s campaign can continue.
Pataki has struggled for money throughout his longshot campaign, raising a total of $389,000 (plus his $20,000 loan). His most recent quarterly results are anemic, with $133,000 raised from July 1st through September 30th. (Our look at his first filing is here, and our look at his super PAC’s initial filing is here.) A campaign, even a barebones campaign, can’t survive with so little money. Pataki’s campaign spent only $100,000 in September, but even that modest amount is unsustainable absent a substantial increase in cash. As noted above, Pataki put in $20,000 of his own money in the last quarter and additional self-funding appears to be the only viable route for Pataki.
George Pataki returned yet again to New Hampshire Thursday and Friday, working to keep his presidential campaign alive. Campaigning in New Hampshire since January, his candidacy has yet to catch on and he faces a difficult path to remaining in the race, much less moving up substantially in the crowded field.
He’s genial and eager to talk, but draws small audiences. In appearances on Thursday he received a polite and inquisitive reception at a presentation organized by the Derry Chamber of Commerce and had a pleasant time talking with a smattering of afternoon shoppers at a farmers market in Manchester. His staff cancelled a late afternoon walk around downtown Concord, however. (He also held a candidate meet and greet in Salem, which I did not attend.)
George Pataki continued his condemnation of Donald Trump today, launching into criticism during a campaign appearance in Derry, New Hampshire. Speaking to an audience of about 30 people, Pataki’s comments drew applause.
Pataki has repeatedly criticized Trump in recent days, appearing on cable networks and managing to instigate a Twitter spat between himself and Trump. During Pataki’s gubernatorial years he and Trump were allies, or at least peaceful co-existors, but that’s changed as the two run against each other. With Trump at the top of the polls and Pataki near the bottom, Pataki has sought to distinguish himself from the rest of the Republican field with vigorous attacks on Trump.
That was George Pataki’s response to news that former senator Al D’Amato, his longtime political friend and patron, endorsed rival presidential candidate John Kasich. It was D’Amato who in 1994 proposed Pataki as a possible gubernatorial candidate, launching the then-obscure state senator on the path to defeating the seemingly invincible Mario Cuomo and his own three terms as governor.
An inside player working as a lobbyist and long out of office, D’Amato is not exactly a big-ticket endorsement but it must nonetheless sting for Pataki. Kasich got some press attention from the endorsement and it added to the sense of Kasich gaining momentum. Kasich and Carly Fiorina have filled the space that Pataki seeks, the back-of-the pack candidate on an upward spiral of interest, attention and support, and each positive moment for them reduces the already limited prospect of Pataki going on a similar rise.
We asked Pataki about that endorsement today at a campaign event in Derry, New Hampshire. Here’s what he had to say: