29 July, 2006

Suozzi Among The Worst? Wonkette Readers Say Maybe So - At Campaigning At Least

Wonkette has been examining campaign flops and faux pas (faux pases?) this week and one local campaign is getting some attention.

Wonkette reports Tom Suozzi's campaign for governor here in New York is getting a fair number of votes in the blog's reader poll of worst campaigns in America.

As Wonkette points out, Suozzi was polling at 8% in February, has spent $6 million dollars, and is now polling at 9%.

The strenght of Suozzi's opponent in the Democratic Party primary race, Eliot Spitzer, may have a lot to do with those poll numbers.

But the events of this week provide an example of a campaign going wrong.

Suozzi went toe-to-toe with Spitzer in a televised debate early in the week, an appearance that won him good reviews by most pundits.

But, he followed that up with the silly debate notebook incident. Rather than paint Spitzer and his alleged temper in a bad light - as the notebook affair was meant to do - it just made Suozzi look petty.

That, somewhat unbelievably, was followed up by a Suozzi campaign press release inviting reporters to view the banned notebook.

The unbelievable part, as reported by Capitol Confidential, is that the subsequent press conference was not about the notebook at all. The promise of a notebook viewing was a ploy to get reporters to come to the event.

That incident smacks of desperation (when you have to fool reporters into covering your campaign you are in a desperate place) and a lack of sophistication (you don't play little tricks on political reporters and not expect it to backfire).

The Suozzi campaign has spent lots of money, alienated the Democratic Party's leaders, changed managers mid-stream and seems to be going nowhere.

In fact the New York Post's veteran pundit Frederic Dicker has already written the campaign's eulogy.


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