Cuomo On de Blasio Invitation

Was Mayor Bill de Blasio invited to a September 11th motorcycle ride and lunch?  Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was joined by Vice President Joe Biden for the lunch and Billy Joel for the lunch and ride, was asked that question shortly after the ride ended at the World Trade Center.  Here’s his response to Newsday’s Matt Chayes:

Cuomo Gaggles: The 9/11 Edition (Updated)

Cuomo 9/11/15 RideGovernor Andrew Cuomo led the last leg of a commemorative motorcycle ride to the World Trade Center today, joined at a pre-ride lunch by Vice President Joe Biden and Billy Joel.  Fellow motorcycle aficionado Joel accompanied Cuomo at the head of the several hundred motorcycle convoy.

Cuomo, joined by Joel, spoke with the press after arriving at the World Trade Center.  Question topics included his extensive recent interactions with Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s possible presidential campaign, the minimum wage increase to $15 now supported by Cuomo, whether there is “a brutality problem” in the New York State prison system and whether Mayor Bill de Blasio was invited to the lunch and motorcycle ride today.  Here’s his full gaggle:

Our photo gallery of the lunch and motorcycle ride is here.

Something Is Wrong With Johnny

Kasich“Something is wrong with Johnny.”  No, there’s not something wrong with Republican presidential candidate John Kasich.  It’s actually a punchline in an introductory story Kasich frequently tells, and it captures much about Kasich and why he’s among the more likely possibilities for the Republican presidential nomination.

First, the story.  Kasich frequently recounts how, as a freshman at Ohio State, a meeting he engineered with the university president led to an invitation to meet with President Nixon.  When Kasich called home to tell his decidedly working class parents that he needed a plane ticket in order to go to an Oval Office meeting with President Nixon, his mother yelled to his father “honey pick up the phone, something is wrong with Johnny.” Continue reading

Photo Gallery: Kasich In New Hampshire


On Wednesday Republican presidential candidate John Kasich rolled through four New Hampshire town halls.  Starting at Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett and ending in West Lebanon, Kasich spoke to good-sized and receptive audiences.


In addition to our other coverage, we have a photo gallery of his full tour, available here.

Kasich Open to Constitutional Convention

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich is open to the idea of a constitutional convention.  His primary focus is adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, but expressed support for a convention as an alternative if Congress does not propound such an amendment.

Kasich referred to a constitutional convention during a town hall in West Lebanon, New Hampshire.  Here’s what Kasich had to say when I asked him about that comment afterwards.

Kasich on McKinley

Ohio Governor John Kasich doesn’t like the recent renaming of Mt. McKinley, but he appears to not share the outrage of other Ohio Republican elected officials.  Kasich, who hopes to follow McKinley’s path from member of Congress to Ohio governor to president, responded to my question with a laugh, saying “they shouldn’t change the signs, cause when I’m president we’re gonna put the signs back up again.”

Kasich & D’Amato

“I can’t wait to be in New York City with Alphonse D’Amato, we are gonna have the time of our lives.”  That’s how Republican presidential candidate John Kasich responded when I asked about D’Amato’s recent endorsement of Kasich.

Three term senator D’Amato has now been out of office, and a lobbyist, for nearly as long as he was in office.  I asked Kasich what D’Amato’s endorsement signaled about Kasich’s general relationship with lobbyists.  Here’s what he had to say:

D’Amato was George Pataki’s primary political patron, playing a key role in Pataki’s first gubernatorial run.  Last week I asked Pataki about D’Amato’s endorsement of a Pataki competitor.

Kasich Gaggles

He came, he spoke, he gaggled.

2016 Republican presidential candidate John Kasich rolled across New Hampshire Wednesday, holding town halls in Hooksett, Henniker, New London and West Lebanon.  He spoke with the press afterwards at three of those town halls.

Each gaggle was short, with two clocking in at about three minutes and the lengthiest just about five minutes.  Although the gaggles were brief the questions were wide ranging, starting in Hooskett with “are you angry enough to win the Republican nomination” and ending ten hours later in West Lebanon with a discourse on rock and alternative music.  Other topics included raising the minimum wage, his endorsement by former senator Al D’Amato, the renaming of Mt. McKinley dropping the name of the Ohian former president, whether Kasich plans to attack his rivals, the Iran nuclear deal, whether he will seek to defund Medicaid money currently directed to Planned Parenthood, who his foreign policy advisors are and the seeming interest of Republican primary voters in candidates who have never held political office.


New London:

West Lebanon:

Pataki Soldiers On

IMG_4518George 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.)


Continue reading

Pataki On Trump

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.

Pataki On D’Amato


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:

Bush On VP Selection

“A president is a decider.”  That was part of Jeb Bush’s answer when asked about a possible vice presidential selection.  Terming it “an important decision”, Bush emphasized the general principle of selecting a running mate “qualified” to be president and who works well with the presidential nominee.  He noted that some presidential/vice presidential candidate pairings “have gotten ugly”, but did not identify any such pairings.  He lauded the Ronald Reagan/George H.W. Bush team, but did not mention George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

He also threw in a few jabs at Donald Trump, saying that “you win when you campaign like this” while spreading his arms, adding “you don’t win when you’re campaigning like this” while wagging his finger.  In case his point wasn’t clear, Bush added “[y]ou don’t win when you’re the large dog in the room, when it’s all about you … how great you are … how rich you are.”

Bush spoke at a recent town hall meeting in Keene, New Hampshire.