Why not Kudlow vs. Gillibrand?

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

New York Republicans seem to be divorced from common sense. After the Dede Debacle in the special election in NY-23, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. Maybe it’s time for the little boy on the sidelines to tell the king that he isn’t wearing any clothes.

New York will elect both of its U.S. senators this November, the regular full term for the seat held by Sen. Charles Schumer (D) and a special election for the remaining term of the seat currently held by interim Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), who is seeking retention to a full term. (That seat was vacated when Sen. Hillary Clinton resigned to become Secretary of State and filled temporarily when Interim NY Gov. David Patterson filled the vacancy by appointing Gillibrand.)

Polls indicate the Gillibrand is relatively vulnerable, while the more established Schumer is relatively safe. In spite of the likely Republican wave building for the 2010 elections, Republicans are having difficulty recruiting challengers.

Schumer is the more obnoxious and more liberal of the two, and many conservatives want him challenged. One online campaign that may bear fruit is encouraging CNBC host Larry Kudlow to challenge Schumer. Kudlow would be a fantastic candidate, because he is a respected economist who is conservative, well-versed, well-known and trusted (not to mention articulate and clean).

But the Schumer seat seems like the wrong contest to waste a candidate of Kudlow’s appeal. Kudlow and New York Republicans should borrow a strategy from high school and college tennis teams: move your top player from “first singles” down to a lower match, where you have a better chance of winning, sacrificing a lesser player to play the other team’s top player in first singles. Then instead of losing both matches, you lose one by a bigger margin but have a better shot at winning the other. Margin doesn’t matter; the difference between 0-2 and 1-1 matters a lot.

Kudlow should take on the vulnerable Gillibrand and leave the more hated Schumer to a long-shot challenger. No, beating the slightly more moderate Gillibrand won’t be as much fun as doing the same to Schumer, but risking losing both seats (and perhaps missing the golden opportunity to take control of the Senate) would be even less fun.

New York is a tough blue state for Republicans, much more expensive to win than Massachusetts. Get smart, New York Republicans. Take your best shot at the lower hanging fruit.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Draft Larry Kudlow Committee on March 3, 2010 at 8:21 am


    Two months ago we thought through this and sorted out the same strategy. We came up against it.

    Our feeling is that some fights must be fought. If Schumer gets a free pass, he’ll work hard to re-elect Gillibrand. But if he’s challenged, he’ll be quick to drop her race and cover his own. Meanwhile, a lesser candidate can take her on and win.

    Additionally, we feel Schumer is beatable – especially in a state where the Democrat party is imploding with scandal (Spitzer, Paterson, Rangel, more) and the rising red tide can overcome large margins. We’ll will have a strong and well-funded Tea Party candidate for governor (Paladino) preaching a house cleaning and Kudlow ripping at Schumer’s flesh. It is a recipe for a Dem wipeout.

    One recurring problem in NY: we’ve never bothered to recruit a strong candidate to take on Schumer. Now, he is poised to lead the Senate with Reid’s defeat in Nevada. His uber liberal agenda will dominate the Congressional schedule and our country will suffer even more. We must STOP that for the sake of New York – for the sake of America.

    With all due respect, your analysis is sound but not bold enough in a time that cries out for bold action. Some battles must be fought – and Kudlow v. Schumer is absolutely one of them.

    Keep up the great work here. We love your stuff.

    Michael Caputo
    Draft Larry Kudlow Committee
    Buffalo, NY


  2. Sounds like you hit it Mike, I am for defeating Schumer, he would do the USA in and Gillibrand is not the big fish we are after the Shark. He called us INSIGNIFICANT When the Tea Party Movement first started and I took it PERSONALLY. Lets get him Out of Washington along with Gilli. Thanks, LIZ


  3. Posted by Dan on March 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I agree..Schumer needs to be challenged.. It would send an even bigger message then the Scott Brown victory.. It is time to clean the house of these fat cats.. Schumer is only out for Schumer and power and could care less about NY.. Run Larry Run


  4. Posted by jerry on March 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Its people like him that made me move out of new york……but if larry runs i will support him with my time and money…..let us know if he is serious


  5. Posted by Brian G. Rosenburg on March 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    The voters in N.Y. need to make Schumer return the curtains that he bought to the Senate majority leader’s office. What Draft Kudlow should do is recruit a “tag team” partner for Mr. Kudlow; someone of the caliber of Rick Santorum. He could “take” Senator “Gilligan” (she’s marouned on a desert island) & he would empower Larry & vice versa.


  6. Michael Caputo,
    I wrote http://biggovernment.com/dfreeman/2010/03/02/carpe-diem-larry-kudlow/
    and would like to know what Larry’s status is.



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