August 26, 2004
Who is George Pataki?
Interesting study in the Times today about George Pataki, the governor who tries hard to be everyone's friend. Are you a Democrat, as the majority of New Yorkers are? Well, Pataki is pro-gay rights, pro-union, and pro-choice! Are you a Republican? Well that's funny, because Pataki technically is one too! (although much of the Bush crowd appears suspicious of his loyalties.) Do you like Mario Cuomo, as everybody in New York and the Democratic political arena seems to? In his upcoming speech at the RNC in which he will introduce Bush, Pataki is recreating the Cuomo Moment. At the 1984 Democratic Convention, Cuomo delivered the keynote address, and it has been canonized as a speech for the ages - read the full text here.
But there's one other notable thing about Cuomo--he never ran for President, and Pataki beat him in the 1994 election. About his talent for delivering a great speech, Cuomo says, "It ruined me," with a bit of melancholy. "And so from that day on they would say. 'Oh, yeah, he gives speeches.' They wouldn't necessarily say it in a carping way, but that's all."
Pataki may not be the great speaker that Cuomo is, but it appears that Americans put little value on a good speech. As long as Pataki talks about security and war and America being under attack a lot, the Republicans will probably love him anyway.