The news of the Niagara County Republican Party’s decision to abandon its previous endorsement of GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio and jump to Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino’s camp is, of course, everywhere in local media this a.m., so here at Niagara Times, we’ll offer our thoughts on the matter as well.
Truth be told, we have mixed feelings about it. We’ve actually rather liked Rick Lazio ever since he “invaded Hillary Clinton’s personal space” all those years ago; even though the liberal media burned him in effigy for the stunt, frankly, we understood Lazio’s point: Hillary was all talk and no action then, and has remained so.
Unfortunately, though, some of the same problems that plagued his 2000 Senate run hobbled his 2010 gubernatorial run. While we do believe he has improved with age, a slowness to react to problems and a certain aloofness and inability to foresee the same has left his campaign limping. Add to that a state GOP chairman unwilling to provide Lazio with party resources, and his campaign had, at this late stage, only rigor mortis to look forward to.
Even at this late point, there were signs that our initial support for Lazio was not misplaced. And yet Paladino, the man Niagara County’s—and most of Western New York’s—GOP will rally around today, has at the same time delivered the coup de grace to Lazio’s campaign because of one simple thing: it’s his time.
Paladino has offered a directness in his campaign that has been, often, a liability, and yet as November looms closer, even moreso a strength. Take, for example, his response to the proposed Ground Zero Mosque, set to open on 9/11/2011—the tenth anniversary of the Islamofascist attacks on American soil:
This ad is a bit reminiscent of some of Ronald Reagan’s old campaign ads:
And perhaps that is why, today, we’re inclined to nod in agreement with the actions of Niagara County GOP Chief Mike Norris. Norris no doubt has noticed all of those orange signs cropping up around his county. And, as any wise chieftain would, he must have taken stock of the situation and realized this was not mere regional loyalty. Carl Paladino has, simply, struck a nerve in a year when voters are poised to reject liberalism as soundly as they did when they turned to Reagan three decades ago.
The businessman from Buffalo will face an uphill battle against a candidate with high name ID and a huge war chest, but this year is shaping up to be unlike any other. And Carl Paladino is the man for this time: