Pataki 2012? Really?

pataki speaking at conference

Presidential material?

There's buzz this week (OK, it's actually a low-level hum) about George Pataki running for president. Of the United States.

The push is off to an entertaining start. In talking about a potential run with ABC News, Pataki noted he was mayor of Peekskill at one time:

It was a challenging job, mayor of Peekskill, let me assure you. Twice the size of Wasilla.

Of course, that's a jab at Sarah Palin (her camp's response), of which Pataki added later in the interview:

It was hard for me to support Carl Paladino. And I did that. So certainly if the choice is between her and President Obama, I don't think I'd have any difficulty at all supporting Sarah Palin.


Even so, the idea that it's plausible Pataki could actually become president is borderline crazy talk. So much so that we've compiled a few reasons why into a list:

"Why it's implausible that George Pataki will be President of the United States."

His record

"What about his record?" you may ask. Exactly. Pataki was governor of New York for 12 years and yet he lacks the sort of big accomplishments that he might point to during a presidential race.

Aside from praise for his stance on environmental issues, the New York Times concluded Pataki's three terms produced "mixed results." The New York Post wasn't even that kind -- wrote Fred Dicker in 2006:

After 12 years and three terms, Gov. Pataki leaves state government far worse then he found it: Albany is scarred by notorious dysfunction, afflicted with pervasive corruption and marked by a torpidity unprecedented in modern times.

Pataki can't even fall back on claims of solid conservative fiscal management during the boom times of the 90s and early 00s -- the Cato Institute gave him a "D" for fiscal policy.

His politics

Pataki plotted a course as a moderate Republican here in New York. Heck, in some other states he might have been called a Democrat -- what with being pro-choice and friendly toward environmental issues. But the Tea Party-fueled Republican Party of today doesn't seem too keen on moderate policies. And it's not like they're going to be eager to line up behind a guy whose accomplishments include expanding government-funded healthcare in his state.

Pataki's been trying to shore up his conservative rep this year -- he publicly opposed the controversial mosque in lower Manhattan. And he's started an org, Revere America, aimed at repealing the federal healthcare reform legislation and getting Republican candidates elected to Congress.

Iowa is seemingly resistant to his charms

Pataki has clearly been harboring presidential aspirations for a while, as he's been kicking around Iowa (land of caucuses) since at least 2006 (and as recently as this April).

But his favorability rating in a poll there last year: 16, tied for last in the poll's Republican field.

New York might not even vote for him

A Marist poll from this past May reported 71 percent of respondents said they did not want Pataki to run for president in 2012.

He's boring

Let's face it, to get elected you gotta get people excited about you. George Pataki is not exciting. He kind of looks like he's sleepy:

He did manage to rouse people at the 2004 Republican Convention, but he talked about 9/11 with a cadence usually associated with bedtime stories:

His combover

Dude, really. You're bald. There's no shame in admitting that.

photo: Flickr user Center for American Progress Action Fund


Pataki in 2012? Not the worst candidate the Reps could throw in the mix... I'd even consider him.

Until I read this

"It was hard for me to support Carl Paladino. And I did that. So certainly if the choice is between her and President Obama, I don't think I'd have any difficulty at all supporting Sarah Palin."

I can't imagine a rational human being supporting either of these people. So, George, I owe you one. You have shown me rather quickly how your inability to listen to common sense clouds your judgement - and long before I had to do my own homework on whether you may get my vote.

Just imagine a Pataki/ Lazio ticket!!!

I sincerely hope George does not waste a ton of money running for an office he will never be elected too. His record is one of disgrace in NYS. George told NYS voters he would fix government so we elected him Governor, then without surprise he spent the next 12 years correcting absolutely nothing and actually left NYS worse than he found it. The most disturbing aspect of his record is that George looks back and wants to pat himself on the back for his accomplishments. What accomplishments? One thing George is very good at though is avoiding any accountability for his ineffectiveness to make serious changes that benefit the people of NYS.

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