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New Yorkers Getting Just What They Deserve

By Paul David Conroy
pconroy@politicalusa.com

1/16/2001

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Cher, Madonna, Oprah... and now Hillary!?  They are all strong-willed, intelligent women and, if you include friendship with Steven Speilberg, they are all of the Hollywood ilk. Yet we know that one of these names doesn't fit. The first three have a variety of accomplishments to their credit and are highly successful entertainers, the fourth is...  Hillary, at any rate, just won a senatorial campaign. That counts for something, right?

Prior to the 1992 Presidential elections, Hillary was Hillary Rodham, grudgingly she became Hillary Rodham-Clinton.  At the outset of her Listening tour of New York State she devolved to just plain Hillary.  A savvy campaign decision that paid off big time.

In an effort to capitalize on her fame without highlighting her marriage, her last name was hidden from sight. Her committee was established as Friends of Hillary, her adds always concluded with “Vote for Hillary”, her campaign signs simply read Hillary.  If not for election legalities that required her last name on the voting ballot, she might very well have trounced Lazio with an even more impressive showing.

Hillary did not really run a "Clintonesque" campaign, sure there were lies, treachery, glad-handling, negative campaigning and all the rest, but at the end of the day she won as Hillary. Sure, Lazio tried to answer in kind and ran national adds to cash-in on the "I Hate Hillary" money, but his  I’m The Real New Yorker slogan grew tired and tiresome quickly.  After all, at least half of those living in New York are not from New York.

   Lazio's record as a Congressman, was distorted by Hillary, but he failed to highlight his many accomplishments. Lazio's ultimate failure was in hiring campaign consultants with a streak of nominal successes and breathtaking failures and, like Hillary, they too were not from New York..

He was a leader and a rising star within the GOP, but all he and his overpaid, unproductive campaign consultants could think to run on was campaign finance reform.   Yet, the majority of the public could not even begin to describe Soft Money much less explain its function and use.  What's more, in New York corporate donations are perfectly legal and loved by both parties.  Lazio needed to raise a small fortune and needed to speak to the voting public, instead his grossly over-valued consultants had him whining over campaign finance minutia while Hillary controlled the playing field. Campaign finance reform is, after all, the same stupid campaign strategy that sunk John McCain. 

Rick Lazio, after all, can't be as stupid as his campaign consultants made him seem.  It takes more than just money to beat a 16year incumbent.  Yet, come the senate race, he was beaten be a name.  A name that, upon slight reflection, carries with it more baggage than Joan Collin's on Safari: Fraud, deception, conspiracy, lying, abuse of power, fiddling with the judicial process, and a host of other legal and aesthetic offenses. Yet Lazio lost.

Whoever runs against Hillary the next time around ought to consider taking a page out of the Hillary playbook.  Rick! might not have done the trick, but surely they can find another one-name-candidate to knock out the wicked witch of healthcare. If only the GOP could find a fellow named Chad...

The voters of New York are getting exactly what they deserve.


Paul David Conroy is a fundraiser with The Club For Growth and strategist in Washington, D.C.

© Paul Conroy, 2001

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