Last Thursday in the historically republican town of Exeter, New Hampshire, former New York Governor George Pataki delivered a rousing speech in which he announced that he would be joining the already-crowded republican presidential field.
Pataki served as Governor of NY from 1995-2006. He is remembered for dramatic tax cuts, but wants to be remembered as the man who helped rebuild a devastated NY after 9/11.
But is it too late to include his role after September 11th in campaign tactics? Pataki’s last term ended quite some time ago, and since then he’s been working in the private sector establishing a consulting group; in other words, fading into oblivion instead of preparing for a presidential campaign.
What does Pataki have to offer that hasn’t already been presented by the seven other republican candidates? Besides revisiting his important role after 9/11, his speech on Thursday invoked the names of Lincoln and Reagan and reminded the crowd of his small town roots. Pataki’s priorities are “defeating Islamic terror, shrinking government, and growing the economy.” He referred to abortion as a â€œdistractionâ€ that if focused on “will only help elect Hillary.”
Pataki’s views on abortion have made him unpopular with many republicans, not to mention his opinions about gun control and climate change. It’s no secret that as governor, Pataki vetoed a bill that allowed for a “Choose Life” NY license plate and approved a bill mandating that all hospitals carry the “morning after” pill.
Polls show few outside of New York are familiar with Pataki, but he seems not to mind. After all, the former senator managed to unseat NY icon Mario Cuomo when he won his first election as NY Governor.
Oh, and watch out Marco Rubio, Pataki can speak Spanish.