Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Dan Collins: Carl Paladino Crumbles at Gubernatorial Debate
Finally, New York got a gubernatorial debate. Seven people, dressed in black, sitting uncomfortably in chairs and looking like mourners at the world's worst funeral. In an important political event strategically broadcast at the same time as a critical baseball playoff game to assure maximum attention.
"Go Yankees," said Andrew Cuomo during his closing statement. By then he was looking very cheerful, as well he might. He won. Or at least emerged unscathed and unhumiliated.
Which is more than you could say for Carl Paladino.
It was not just that Paladino failed to lead the motley crew of third and fourth-party candidates on the stage into a unified us-against-the-frontrunner assault the Democrats had been fearing. Or that, blessedly, he failed to trigger that sex-scandal explosion he'd been hinting at.
Paladino was actually the weakest performer on the stage, no small achievement when the other chairs are filled with folks like Jimmy McMillan of the Rents Are Too Damn High party, and ex-madam Kristen Davis of the Anti-Prohibition Party. The Republican nominee seemed confused, or maybe slightly medicated. He couldn't even deliver his opening and closing statements efficiently.