Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hoffman's strategy: childish or brilliant?

The question has finally been answered. If Doug Hoffman loses to Matt Doheny in the GOP primary later this month, he'll remain in the race on the Conservative line.

At last night's debate between the two would-be Republican challengers to Democratic incumbent Bill Owens, the Saranac Lake accountant finally answered the question that has been swirling for months.

“People think that I’m the spoiler because I’m not going to get out of the race. People that get the Conservative line, have to stay on the Conservative line once they take it,” Hoffman said. “The spoiler in this race is Matt Doheny because he is trying to get the Republican line, knowing very well that he can’t get the Conservative line.”

Both men claim to have their fingers on the collective pulse of conservatives in New York's 23rd Congressional District. Who is right won't be known until after the primary.

But Hoffman's strategy for victory may be much more apparent now. If Doheny wins, it appears, there will be a three-way race in November. Such a three-way -- pitting tea partiers versus moderates -- would surely constitute a huge boost for Owens and his reelection bid.

So, as it stands now, when a Republican voter enters the voting booth on September 14, they will be faced with a conundrum -- a Catch 22 that could very well shape how they cast their ballot.

Is voting for Doheny a vote for Owens?

This voter may well prefer Doheny to Hoffman, but may also prefer either man to Owens. This effect could very well send many more GOP votes in Hoffman's direction then he would have otherwise garnered.

Hoffman is holding Republicans hostage. His statement to Republicans is essentially this; "Either vote for me or I will torpedo this whole damn thing."

His approach may seem bullish at best and maybe a little childish. It brings images of a scorned third-grader to my head when I think about it.

But it could prove highly effective on primary day and that is the end goal here, after all.

Doheny argues he is the best suited to face off against Bill Owens and comments made by UNYTEA Chairman Mark Barie -- who has endorsed Hoffman -- suggest he agrees with the Watertown banker's assessment.

But Doheny has pledged to back whoever wins the GOP primary. He has pledged to not force a three-way race if it's left up to him. And this pledge, and his commitment to upholding it, may be his undoing.


  1. Doheny is a hazard to our region...he thought nothing of going back to booze on his boat AFTER getting caught....

    I know a lot of investment bankers...and many of them are sharp as marbles and have risen through these firms by good looks and a lot of ass kissing. This one maybe wealthy...but it often has no bearing on skill. I dont think Doheny has much to offer but a lot of Marty McGillicuddy hot air.

  2. You have to ask yourself, who would owens like to run against? A rather boring and nerdy accountant with no past bad behavior, or a man from wall st (remember what the average American voter thinks of Wall st) Who also has a recent history of law breaking and abusing law enforcement folks just doing their jobs. I think there is zero chance of Doheny winning against Owens particularly when the left wing media turns on their slime machine.

  3. Hoffman is the clear choice for many reasons, foremost the fact that the entrenched Republican imbecile hierarchy does not support him. It is upon their heads that perhaps we have Obamacare due to their insistence that the Socialist RINO Dede scozzafava was foisted upon us by these wretched unprincipled traitors. Is Doheny tainted by his association with wall street and their addiction to Federal subsidy? I believe YES Vote Hoffman and turn the tide of Progressive Socialism

  4. Hoffman is "everyman" in Northern New York. I'm not ready to be swayed by charisma nor the choices made by the Republican party. I don't equate Hoffman's "nerdy" or unpolished manner with a lack of common sense. He's operated businesses in this area, made payrolls, helped others make theirs. He can speak to the issues facing us with a voice closer to my own than any other candidate. I'm all for bringing common sense and core values back into politics. I'm voting Hoffman, even if it splits the party vote, to send a clear message about what I expect from my elected officials. Go Doug!

  5. Doheny's commercial with his mom sealed the deal for me - if he "cares about the people" than why is his mother (if it is his mom) living in such a run-down home?

    I met Doug. He may be a nerd, but I'd rather have a nerd than a slick Wall-street guy who can't even take care of his MOTHER and make sure her house is safe, efficient and nice-looking.

  6. owens is the only grownup in the race

  7. I agree that Owens is the only grownup in the race. Fringe politics will get us nowhere. Tea Party is too fringe.