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January 25, 2009

The Price Of Scorning A Princess...Pissing Off The Kennedys

I think it's safe to say NY Gov. David Patterson won't be getting any invitations to the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port anytime soon. If he does manage to wrangle one, he shouldn't accept any rides from Teddy to get there.

An "apoplectic" Kennedy family is seething over the rough treatment that heiress apparent Caroline got from Gov. Paterson's office and is spoiling for revenge, several sources close to the clan have told The Post.

"The governor's going to pay for this," said a well-placed Democrat. "Ted is furious. The family is furious. The Kennedys are now against the governor."

And it's not just the Kennedy's who are pissed that Paterson selected Kirsten Gillibrand for Hillary Clinton's seat in the Senate. Plenty of downstate Democrats are mad and gun grabbing Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy has already vowed to primary Gillibrand in 2010.

But that rift in the party may not be Paterson's biggest worry. Some analysts are saying that the snub of Andrew Cuomo guarantees that Mario's son will run against Paterson himself in 2010.

The only question being asked in state Democratic circles was not if - but when - Cuomo, who did not attend yesterday's press conference, will announce his candidacy to challenge Paterson in next year's primary.

"I see Gov. Cuomo in our future," quipped a prominent Democratic activist and lobbyist.

The Dem characterized Paterson's performance over the past three days "as nothing short of outrageous" - particularly in handling Caroline Kennedy.

Party insiders close to Cuomo say they expect the attorney general to announce he'll run for governor toward the end of this year. He's the most popular politician in the state, according to polls, and has a wealth of experience, including a stint as US secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Now Fred Dicker, who wrote the Cuomo story, is far more plugged in than I ever will be but I'm not as sure about this as he and his sources are. Cuomo ran an embarrassing primary for Governor in 2002 against H. Carl McCall who was the first black elected to statewide office (he was the Comptroller). That campaign went so badly that Cuomo had to drop out before the vote. I'm not sure Andrew Cuomo is set to make his mark as the guy who runs against every black Democrat running for Governor in NY. That said, Cuomo is an ambitious guy and he's blocked from moving up for the next 4-6 years unless he runs in a primary, so we'll see.

The most depressing part of this otherwise enjoyable Democratic crackup is the fact that NY Republicans aren't in much of position to capitalize on it. Right now the biggest star on the Republican bench is a guy named Rudy Giuliani. Does he want in on this? Remember, he was running for this Senate seat in 2000 before being stricken with cancer. Will he run against Gillibrand (or the winner of the primary) in 2010? If he does and he wins, it means another campaign in 2012. Is he interested in running for Governor? Keep in mind he's 64 years old (65 in May). Has he had enough of politics and is now content to make money with his consulting firm?

Beyond Rudy, there's really no one with any name recognition or record to speak of in the wings. I wonder if former Governor George Pataki wants to run for the Senate but yeesh, he wasn't so popular on his way out. Still he flirted with a presidential run in 2007 for 2008 that went no where.

Maybe Republicans can parachute someone in from around the country ala Hillary in 2000. And speaking of Hillary, isn't it funny how she and her husband manage to leave a trail of destruction no matter where they go?

Still, it's all popcorn worthy to say the least.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:17 PM

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