Carl Paladino is really screwing up, and Andrew Cuomo is exposing him as a rookie political novice.
Many of us were raised on this tradition: “if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”
So borrowing a diplomacy page from the parental playbook, perhaps the nicest thing we could say is Cuomo is making Paladino look like a light weight. Further, quoting Republican strategist Ed Rollins, Rollins has labeled the Paladino campaign "absurd and irrational.” According to Rollins, “the Republican Party will take 10 years to recover from this candidacy.”
For now, I’m not even questioning Paladino’s fitness for being governor. (many others are doing that) But the man has blown any shot he had at beating Cuomo.
Let’s look at how Paladino has handled two subjects in the news recently. Marital affairs and debates.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS MR. PALADINO, don’t preempt your own negative attack.
You hit your opponent when you have the goods, or when you box your rival in, where he is forced to answer a question.
If you preempt your own negative attack, you are simply giving your rival cover. That is exactly what Paladino has done. He actually helped Cuomo.
How is this possible? What am I talking about? It’s simple. When Paladino claims Cuomo’s sexual “prowess is legendary," without providing any details, Paladino has effectively removed the issue off the table.
By sounding like he’s so out of control, so reckless, when reporters actually tried to ask Cuomo the question, Paladino has handled the matter so badly, that Cuomo can take the high road, and not be forced to answer.
In other words, Paladino swinging in the air aimlessly, by being so baseless in his claim without evidence, you could have predicted Cuomo response Friday to a possible affair question:
"I'm not going to get into the gutter with my opponent; we've gone through this before." Cuomo said.
Paladino has tried to explain to reporters his prior claim that the Democratic attorney general had multiple "paramours" while married to Kerry Kennedy. Paladino contends he made the unsubstantiated claim only to get journalists to ask Cuomo the same questions they had been asking of him.
But from now until the day Cuomo takes office… directly because of how Paladino handled the issue…Cuomo will simply say "I’m not going in the gutter with Paladino" and decline to answer any such question.
What Paladino didn’t consider is that he gave Mr. Cuomo more of an out than Cuomo’s own key advisers could have come up with.
On the issue of debates, Paladino has also badly handled himself. Frankly it’s the only issue Paladino has had left to throw at Cuomo, but even that didn’t work.
Paladino made the mistake of thinking he could attack and attack, without Cuomo giving in, but Cuomo has now agreed to share the stage with Paladino, AND ALL THE OTHER CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR, and simply play a game of “beat the clock,” during the one hour time. They will all gang up on Cuomo as the front runner, and he will simply “talk to the voters ignoring everyone.”
Thus, Paladino’s message and more importantly his attacks against Cuomo will be diluted.
Paladino came on strong in the final weeks against front-runner Rick Lazio, so this should be said, the potential for that to happen again is there, but Andrew Cuomo is no Rick Lazio.
It bears repeating Cuomo is no Lazio.
Paladino’s general election campaign has been so bad, at this point Paladino will be lucky to escape with his image and not damage his lucrative Buffalo real estate business.
If Paladino has not been making one mistake after another, what does he do on Sunday? In the middle of of the all the recent news about suicide in the gay community and antigay violence, Paladino delivers a speech to Orthodox Jewish Leaders in Brooklyn, and says the following:
-Children should not be "brainwashed" into thinking homosexuality is acceptable.