Sunday, November 01, 2009

Scozzafava steps aside - sort of

ALBANY, N.Y. — Fighting plunging support, Republican Dierdre Scozzafava abruptly suspended her campaign Saturday in the 23rd Congressional District special election that has exposed a rift among national factions of the party.

Campaign spokesman Matt Burns said Scozzafava thinks stepping aside is for the best of the party. He said Scozzafava is essentially withdrawing from the race, although her name will remain on Tuesday's ballot.

"It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support," Scozzafava said in a written statement. "Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit."

The announcement comes after a Siena College poll found she was in third place with 20 percent of the vote in the heavily Republican district that has been safe ground for the party for more than 100 years. Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman and Democratic nominee Bill Owens were too close to call with 35 percent and 36 percent, respectively.

The race has pitted conservative and moderate wings of the Republican Party against each other in a battle of ideology. The special election in New York's rural north has received national attention as big-name Republicans including Sarah Palin, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson have thrown their support behind Hoffman. Money poured into Hoffman's campaign from all over the country.

I said on this blog that I didn't think that Ms. Scozzafava would do the right thing and withdraw from the race.

I was partially wrong so I partially apologize.

But I was also partially right. Scozzafava is not officially out of the race she has only "suspended" her campaign. And she is not admitting that the people of her district have rejected her left-wing RINO Republicanism. Instead she is blaming the fact that she doesn't have enough money to "counter what has been said" about her.

Also she has not endorsed her conservative fellow Republican, Doug Hoffman. Instead she has "released" her supporters to do what they see fit.

What we have is a woman who realizes that she cannot possibly win and who doesn't want to waste any more money trying to keep a sinking ship afloat and who doesn't want to harm her political future by being seen as the spoiler who lost NY23 for the GOP.

But she also can't bring herself to do the truly right thing and totally withdraw from the race then do everything in her power to get her supporters to vote for Doug Hoffman. So we have this passive-aggressive "I'm out, but not completely out, because I have been treated so unfairly by the conservatives so I'm not going to tell my supporters what to do about their votes so I'm just washing my hands of the whole thing and going home".

If you happen to live in NY23 get out to a polling place and vote for Doug Hoffman this Tuesday.