Scozzafava is the hand-picked candidate of former state GOP chairman Joseph Mondello.Mondello had the magical ability to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory. Sort of an anti-Midas: Everything he touched turned to crap. Back in August, just before he was forced out of the chairmanship, the Democrats issued a sarcastic statement:
Democrats say they like Mondello' ability to lose state races, including the recent loss of an open congressional seat in the Albany area. Mondello backed Republican Jim Tedisco' failed candidacy.Everybody can recognize Mondello as that Peter Principle type of guy, the flawed mediocrity with a glory-hog tendency to take credit for other people's success, so that he keeps getting promoted until, at last, he's in charge of the whole shebang and then -- disaster!
"The recent chorus of Republican officials calling for Joe Mondello to step down as State GOP chair is disappointing and a step backwards for New York," said Shams Tarek, DSCC spokesman.
"With the New York GOP' recent loss of both the State Senate and the overwhelmingly Republican 20th Congressional District to Democrats, we couldn’t be more pleased with Chair Mondello's work."
"For the benefit of a population completely fed up with years of GOP cynicism and dysfunction in both Washington and Albany, Chair Mondello should remain in place and continue to remove Republicans from office in New York."
You need to talk to New York conservatives about the Tedisco debacle in the 20th District, if you want to understand how tone-deaf GOP Establishment types like Mondello -- a tool of the old D'Amato Long Island machine -- have bungled away their opportunities and alienated the Republican grassroots.
It's all a backroom old-boys-network. A decade ago, the state GOP chairman hand-picked John Sweeney for the 20th District. A state party staff lawyer, Sweeney subsequently established a reputation as a drunken, corrupt womanizer -- NTTAWWT, in the view of the sold-out GOP hacks who supported him -- and went down in flames in 2006.
Mondello repeated that blunder by picking the clueless Tedisco for the 20th District this year, which one New York blogger summed up this way:
Few party activists are aware that Joe Mondello made the surprising decision to personally chair the meeting in which Jim Tedisco was selected to run for the vacant seat previously held by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. The move was unprecedented, as nowhere in the state election law or the state committee bylaws was the involvement of the state party mandated. . . .People keep claiming the GOP loses elections by being "too conservative," but that misses the point. The basic problem is this old-boy network way of running campaigns -- the favor-swapping, back-scratching, let's-give-my-college-roommate-a-consulting-contract modus operandi -- that leads to tactical incompetence in the Republican electoral apparatus.
Observers inside and outside the 20th Congressional district have reached a rare consensus about the ghastly display that was witnessed in the election. The Wall Street Journal summed it up neatly: "Republicans lost because they fielded a poor candidate who ran a lousy campaign."
You could write a 50,000-word book and call it The Encyclopedia of Republican Stupidity, Volume One. Maybe 20 volumes would suffice to sketch the outline of what's wrong with a party which managed to fumble away, inter alia, the George Allen 2006 Senate campaign because Dick Wadhams didn't understand Virginia politics.
UPDATE 11:32 a.m.: New poll confirms the Scozzafava meltdown.