Friday, September 12, 2008

Tuesday's Biggest Loser

We thought Kirsten Gillibrand going 0-for-4 on endorsements in 2007 would have given her pause before getting back into the fray this time around. After Tuesday, two things were obvious: Gillibrand's quest to sow herself a legacy remains in full swing and her luck has not improved. Let's look at the body count:
  • NY-21: We're not sure what exactly possessed Darius Shahinfar to make a go for Mike McNutly's old seat, but we are sure that the hard feelings amongst the contenders are plentiful. Gillibrand didn't do herself any favors by having a former aide in a race where the winner didn't take more than 40% of the vote and the losers had to put up tens of thousands of dollars in hopes of getting attention in a field made even more crowded by Shahinfar.
  • SD-43: Even when Gillibrand's pick won, she still lost. Brian Premo had the guts to put his name in contention for this seat while the GOP candidate was still Joe Bruno. All politics aside, signing up to be the sacrificial lamb is supposed to be rewarded. In this case, that reward was delivered in the form of having Gillibrand's boy Mike Russo's opportunistic candidacy force-fed on Rensselaer Democrats. After stepping on a loyal soldier like Joanne Yepsen, Russo's people didn't have any visible reservations about sticking it to Boss Wade. You can expect a fair share of hard feelings there, especially with Mike Russo wrapping himself in the "former Gillibrand aide" cloak.
  • Saratoga Springs Dems: Valerie Keehn's abortive re-election last fall, the major impetus behind the strife, was backed by Gillibrand, and even though the Congresswoman has kept her distace, the drama up north has reached Greenbushesque proportions and therefore warrants mention. They've got the factions, complete with generic names. They've got flabbergasted letters to the editor about how Democrats for [abstract noun] are superior to the [positive adjective] Democrats. Most importantly, they've got a divided committee whose membership was divided in some districts by single votes. Saratoga Springs is a place that Gillibrand has to win if she's going stick around for another term. Meltdowns like this one seldom preceed unified efforts.