New York State GOP needs a hero… or at least a leader.

I’m starting to get a little worried.  And annoyed.  Actually, mostly annoyed.  Gubenatorial candidates in states like New Jersey and Virginia are coming out of the woodwork.  Republicans are lining up to take on leadership roles throughout the country, and preparing for long, hard battles.

Meanwhile, in New York, where we face an enormous budget crisis and an unelected governor who seems to feel that more taxation is just the stimulus this economy needs — an unelected governor, by the way, who is getting less popular in his own party by the day, thanks to his moderate choice to replace Hillary Clinton — we get… crickets.

So far, we have two Republican “might-runs,” considering a bid against “governor” Paterson: Rudy Giuliani and Rick Lazio.  Neither has officially announced candidacy, and I’m not about to start going into their respective Conservative bona fides just yet (suffice to say, they’re both pretty typical NYC-style Republicans).  At this point, I’ve given up on the idea of getting a full-fledged Conservative into the Governor’s Mansion.  What does bother me is that neither these potential candidates, nor the State GOP as an entity is paving the way for a serious opposition bid.

Giuliani, who, if you had asked me in December, would easily have been my pick for Governor, won’t even raise his voice in opposition to the heavy-handed tax proposals endorsed by Paterson, let alone even mention taking him on for Governor.

He doesn’t need a two-year election campaign. I think he should be given every opportunity to do the very best he can for the state, and then we can see about it six months from now, eight months from now.

Far distant from the kind of leadership we should be expecting from the GOP, this reads more like an endorsement.

Lazio, meanwhile, a former Congressman and current JP Morgan exec, who is perhaps best known for losing spectacularly to Hillary Clinton in the Senate race of 2000 (after blowing all his political capital by being too abrasive against Mrs. Clinton), is staying silent on all issues.

Giuliani seems to think that the best tactic for Republicans to take is to let Democrats control the narrative, to let Paterson make decisions uncontested, to let the Democrat party settle down and lear to deal with their new moderate senator.  And Lazio… well, who the hell knows what he’s thinking.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

In fact, this is the perfect time to strike.  People know something about Paterson’s budget plan stinks — now is the time for a Repulican leader to tell them what that smell is.  Democrats are already unhappy about Paterson’s pick for Senator — so much so that many are already plotting a mutiny; there should be a Repulican candidate out there thanking Paterson for the pick, and exploiting the hell out of the division in the Dem ranks.

No — letting Paterson do his “very best” by implementing bad policy uncontested is not, in fact, good for the state.  It is very, very bad for the state.  And I am very disturbed that, so far at least, we don’t have a potential candidate who is willing to fight for New York.

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