A couple of thoughts on the future of the New York GOP:
In 2006, John Faso, of whom the worst that could be said was that he was boring, received a truly astounding 29.2% of the vote against Elliott Spitzer.
This year, Carl Paladino, of whom it can fairly be said that he is a politically-suicidal mouth-breathing troglodyte, got 34.1%.
While Paladino went down by 27.3%, GOP comptroller candidate Harry Wilson lost by about 2%. And four or five Democratic incumbents from New York's Congressional delegation lost.
All of this should make NY Republicans a little bit optimistic about the party's long-term prospects, especially the massive number of ticket splitters who boosted Wilson.
On the other hand...
State GOP chair Ed Cox, who did nothing to insulate Wilson or AG candidate Dan Donovan from the Paladino plague, and ought to have been chased out of Albany by now, is vowing to stay put and even resisting pressure to drop one of his top aides.
George Pataki, who endorsed Paladino after Paladino called him a "degenerate idiot," is mulling a presidential run in 2012 -- which causes one to wonder whether he is driven more by self delusion or the appeal of months of donor-funded meals and lodging. In other words, is he more Mike Gravel or Al Sharpton? Either way, Pataki has no place in the future of the state party.
If the NY GOP is to build on the encouraging results from last week, its new leaders will need to openly denounce Paladino, just about anyone who endorsed Paladino, Cox, Pataki and Joe Bruno. Who will lead the way? What are Harry Wilson's plans? As a Goldman Sachs and Blackstone alum, he probably doesn't need to worry about his next paycheck -- so why not make a run for the NYGOP chairmanship?