Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Team Lazio: Blowing the Message

The recent communique from Rick Lazio's camp denouncing anti-Semite Helen Thomas underscored a problem with the Republican gubernatorial campaign.   They're off message.   They lack focus.   Thomas deserved the denunciation, but it was coming in plentifully from all quarters.

Lazio's job is running for Governor.   Running -- effectively -- means zeroing in on the two or three issues that matter most to voters and talking about nothing else.   In New York, those issues are taxes and jobs.   Period.

It's the Lazio campaign's weakness in this regard that, as much as anything, is letting Andrew Cuomo get away with portraying himself, an Albany insider for nearly three decades, as an outsider, and a reformer.   Andrew Cuomo's own party has to believe he's faking it on issues of spending and taxes, and reforming Albany in a meaningful way.   They wouldn't have nominated him if they believed he was on the level.   But Team Lazio's lack of focus is helping Cuomo pull off the deception.

Lazio need only look to Monroe County for an example.   Take Assemblyman and County Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle.   As he runs for re-election this year, and positions himself for his race for County Executive next year, Morelle has to overcome twenty years of voting for ever-higher taxes and spending.   And so, for months now, nothing has come out of Morelle's mouth that doesn't have to do with ... jobs and taxes!   It's a campaign discipline that's practically channelling the spirit of the late GOP Chairman Steve Minarik.   It has that focus.

Lazio should take the example.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really, is anyone surprised who lived through the 2000 Senate campaign? The living definition of a lightweight - intellectually and politically.