The International Writers Magazine:REALITY CHECK August 12th
RODHAM v BRIDE OF UNCLE RUDY
Catfight in New York
five-plus years and a decades worth of bitching from this space,
but we will finally, thankfully, have an old-fashioned knock down, drag
out donnybrook for New York Senate this year, the kind mom and pop used
to talk about or the history books try and hide an Alexander
Hamilton/Aaron Burr deal with pistols at dawn. And Im not selling
the usual sissy slap fights we inevitably get from rich white guys throwing
money at each other like spoiled brats. Im talking an all-pro
political mutant fest squaring off to the death, and folks, theyre
Enter stage right; pit bull Westchester County District Attorney, Jeanine
Pirro, who has set her sights on our beloved Senator Rodham, once the
crown jewel of party palaver, but now operating with a sizable target
between the shoulder blades. This was supposed to be Uncle Rudys
fight last time, but divorce and cancer curtailed the fun. Thus we were
stuck with the flaccidly surreal Rick Lazio "Im From NY and
Youre Not" review. But now the pot is sweetened by a bonafide
catfight, one in which the claws and fangs have already been brandished.
Pirro is a gunslinger. She means business. Her husbands a jailbird
and her children are nuts. Yet she manages to exude an air of dominatrix.
When you talk to her you have to fight the urge to flinch. She is at
once charming and disarming, a die hard Republican hard-ass with a tinge
of compassion rarely seen in high level law enforcement. Pirro gives
a shit. She really does, and dont think for one minute she believes
Senator Rodham does.
When announcing her candidacy last week, Pirro quipped, "I am running
against Hillary Clinton because New York State deserves a senator who
will give her all to the people of New York for a full term, who will
not miss votes to campaign in primaries." Ouch.
She continued... "When Mrs. Clinton first came to us and said she
wanted to be a New Yorker, she asked New York to put out a welcome mat
and we did," Pirro sniped. "But now she wants us to re-elect
her even though she won't promise to serve out her term and wants to
use us as a springboard to the presidency. She's asking us to become
her doormat. I believe we deserve better."
Doormat. This is good. Its better than carpetbagger. The carpetbagger
stuff didnt play in the sticks. Apparently they like outsiders
in Binghamton, but who wants to be a Doormat? No matter how you cut
it, the Pirro move is genius by the New York Republican Party, which
has begun its Stop Hillary campaign in full force by sending the equivalent
of Uncle Rudy in a rough and tumble female package. You want a moderate,
who has fought for womens rights, nabbed sex offenders, and clamped
down on underage drunks, and, most importantly, has not allowed the
federal government to run willy nilly over the enforcement of the law
in the Empire State? You got her, silver platter and all.
Senator Rodham has concerns. Believe me. I know Jeanine Pirro. She knows
people I know in the know. Anyone whos spent five minutes in NY
politics for the past 20 years has dealt with Pirro in one way, shape
or form. She is a specter. She will not go quietly. She has opinions
stacked on opinions, and if you dont like it, she has a pretty
good opinion on that too.
And if Pirro cannot defeat the unsinkable Senator Rodham, a distinct
possibility as she begins down by some 40 points in every poll imaginable,
then she is merely set forth to slow the momentum, bare the scars and
gnaw on the bones of this fast-track operation ramping up for Pennsylvania
Avenue. State GOP Chairman, Stephen Minarik has already gone on record
by suggesting that "the district attorney could bloody the former
first lady as she prepares for a possible run for president in 2008".
Rodham has been a fair senator, and, at times, has proven her mettle
in dealing with bi-partisan issues. She has slid dramatically to the
right to hasten her ascent to a national candidacy in the past few months,
preaching fiscal responsibility and military strength abroad, while
deftly maintaining star status in the liberal crunch of Howard Deans
party. She is no sucker, and will no doubt dig up the bad vibes of Pirros
past political aspirations, like a failed run for lieutenant governor
in 1986, when her husbands mounting evidence of tax fraud dragged
her down like a ten-ton anchor.
Pirro, a staunch defender of a womans right to choose, will find
problems of her own with the states conservative wing. There are
already rumblings from that camp which has gone to great lengths to
remind the local press that "no one has won a statewide race without
our endorsement since 1974." But, however rural most of New York
can be, it is no Red State, and boasts a social liberal as its governor
as well as the last two mayors of its largest city. No matter how you
slice it, the tale of the tape is a thing of beauty: Pirro, the hard-nosed
prosecutor, practicing rancorous forms of tough love versus Madam Hillary,
who has made a living pandering to special interests and sucking hard
on the government teat. Pirro is street.
Rodham is nerdish. While the former first lady can wax poetic and wonk
you to death with stats and rhetoric, Pirros like some kind of
teamster in a foul mood, lecturing you on the finer points of pistol
Political junkies, such as yours truly, have hit the jackpot with this
one. You live many generations without seeing something this juicy with
such high stakes. And when you couple that to what is coming in 2008,
the first national election for President of the United States without
an incumbent or standing vice president running since Eisenhower defeated
a limping Adlai Stevenson 53 years ago, you begin to formulate the consequences.
This is as tasty as it gets kids. Two polished professionals, veterans
of the battle, squaring off for all the marbles; call Don King and spit-shine
the corpse of Boss Tweed, we gonna dance!
© James Campion Auust 12th 2005
also Deep Throat and other
stories in our Comment
Legal - the case for drugs
We Want Bolton
Den of Iniquity
Rove - superhero
Castro must Die!
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