Several years ago I “Liked” the former governor of New York, George Pataki’s Facebook page which has been relatively quiet, except for the around the Holidays when he would post a season’s greeting and well wishes from the Pataki family. This evening there was a different kind of post dropping the hint that he is exploring the possibility of running for President in 2016, with a link to an article in the New York Observer explaining his efforts thus far.
Former New York Governor George Pataki is the latest Republican to explore a bid for his party’s presidential nomination in 2016. He has made recent trips to New Hampshire and South Carolina. By most measures, the low-key, 69-year-old moderate, who left office in 2006, is a long-shot to win his party’s nomination.
Nevertheless, Governor Pataki appears to be serious about exploring the race. “Right now, [Mr. Pataki’s] been focused on what he sees going wrong on a national level,” said his spokesperson, David Catalfamo. “He believes the party needs to energize and focus on those core issues. Fundamental change in the ways that Washington has encroached into the lives of Americans…Point is that he would make is that he has a record of doing it. He has a record of reducing the size of government, reduced the size of the workforce, reduced taxes, reduced red tape.”
In contemplating the news of his his possible presidential bid – straight from Pataki’s official Facebook page instead of just rumor – I’ve started to feel a bit nostalgic, thinking about better times of days past. He became Governor of New York shortly after I moved to here. The very good part of his tenure was that those years were the best we’ve ever had economically; and we haven’t had the pervasive sense of entrepreneurship here since he left. Though, I have to admit that I don’t recall many of the finer points of his terms in office. He kept government where I like it, in the background, letting people go about their lives without becoming noticeable. In my view, he errs on the side of less rather than more.
Of course, because things do change, there is one deal maker or breaker to contend with – monetary policy on which I do not know Pataki’s views. But from my recollection, he is more of a pragmatist and I’d be surprised if he went for the extreme in that area, and I wouldn’t feel apprehensive about him in that regard.
The big question is, though, whether Pataki could unite the various extreme and warring factions within the Republican Party to make it across the finish line. There’s the “values voters.” There’s the anti-immigration crowd. There’s the righty-tighties and the gold bugs. And most of all, there’s almost a complete lack of good will amongst themselves or toward others (the reason I headed for the hills). It will be one heck of a challenge for someone who is practical rather than demagogic; and I hope he’s up to it.
I wish him the best of luck, and maybe he’ll be seeing me around.
PS: For me, this is the most exciting news I’ve heard since being offered my present job.
Here’s a link to a video of a Pataki interview on Fox Business