George Pataki has an itch and he’s going to scratch it. A presidential itch, that is. A veteran of many presidential flirtations, Pataki is running hard in the early rounds of the 2016 presidential race, repeatedly visiting New Hampshire.
His candidacy elicits eye rolls among many New Yorkers, a product of his multiple past unconsummated presidential flirtations, his laconic presence and limited political visibility since leaving office eight years ago. While his prospects are virtually nil, Pataki’s effort is real and may produce something for him. It’s hard to predict precisely what that something may be, although it’s not going to be the Republican nomination for president. Continue reading Presidential Itch→
Former New York Governor George Pataki was asked about the Rev. Al Sharpton while on a campaign visit to New Hampshire. His reaction, including a reference to New York City’s “terrible mayor”, was, to put it mildly, negative. Pataki was sitting with a small group in a Newport, New Hampshire pizzeria when one of them posed the question:
Term limits, a ban on legislators “giving … government money to so-called charitable organizations”, but not a full time legislature. Those were among the more concrete answers from former Governor George Pataki in discussing the New York State legislature in the wake of criminal charges against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. I also asked him about the selection of Carl Heastie as Speaker of the Assembly.
Pataki has a unique perspective on Albany’s governing triumvirate of “three men in a room”, progressing from the most junior member of the Assembly minority to one of the those proverbial “three men” as governor for 12 years. (He was also a member of the Senate between his time in the Assembly and becoming governor.)
We spoke during Pataki’s latest campaign visit to New Hampshire.
Amid the political chitchat and serious policy questions posed by New Hampshire voters Sunday evening former New York governor and current Jets fan George Pataki addressed a deeply emotional issue: how does he feel about the local team? With the NFL playoffs on screen behind him Pataki embraced the local favorite, all while tossing a few digs at a putative rival.
Acting and speaking like a presidential candidate, former New York governor George Pataki made a campaign appearance in New Hampshire Sunday evening. Pataki is not yet formally a candidate, but his intention to run was clear as he began a two day trip to New Hampshire with a “meet and greet” at a well-known political venue, the 401 Tavern in Hampton. He was warmly greeted by the 25-30 attendees, although the attendees I spoke with shared the view that it’s too early to commit to any candidate.
Although he was three times elected governor of New York, once in an upset over the formidable Mario Cuomo and twice in decisive reelection bids, Pataki faces long odds and is generally regarded in New York political circles as having no chance whatsoever. Out of office for eight years, he has modest name recognition, little campaign funding in the bank and a Republican primary electorate that’s significantly to his right on social issues. He professes not to be worried, however, with his surprising 1994 gubernatorial victory over Mario Cuomo as inspiration.
He’s flirted with running for president multiple times, but never actually gone through with it. At 69, this is his last realistic opportunity to run. Even now, while he appears vigorous and healthy, his age may be an issue. Although the country has grown more embracing of older professionals in many ways, we’ve shifted to a paradigm of younger presidents. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama took office in their 40’s, and George W. Bush, who is one month older than Clinton, took office at 54. At 70 71 on inauguration day, Pataki would be the oldest person to become president.
I spoke with Pataki briefly as the meet and greet concluded. I began by asking whether he is, or intends to be, a candidate for president. Pataki said he’s “likely to become a candidate” and that he’s “inclined to do this.”
Update: Pataki also addressed a deeply emotional issue – how does the Jets fan feel about the New England Patriots?
John Catsimatidis held a press conference this afternoon to urge New York City Council members to not override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the Community Safety Act. Catsimatidis was joined by several Republican former elected officials, including former governor George Pataki and former congressman Vito Fossella.
I asked Pataki how he feels about the return of his successor, Eliot Spitzer, to electoral politics.
I asked former congressman Vito Fossella, who resigned in his own sex scandal, for his reaction to the candidacy of Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner.
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