Debating Suozzi's Future
"What should Suozzi do in this debate? What should Spitzer do?"
Depends on what they want and need to do. Spitzer, unless he has more skeletons in his closet than a med school anatomy lab, is the next governor of New York. His huge leads in the polls over Suozzi and Faso, huge leads in money raised and on hand, and in organizational infrastructure of party, union, and advocate support make him unbeatable. There are good reasons why he's where he is. He can only beat himself. So, on Tuesday he must not drool, curse, or physically assault Tom Suozzi.
Spitzer is good: smart, quick, with an edge. Stick to the message. Don't lose your cool; don't condescend.
What does Tom Suozzi want? To "beat" Spitzer in the debate so badly that he gains enough momentum to erase a 50 percentage point lead in the polls? Beat Spitzer in the primary? FORGET IT. IT'S OVER.
The only way he wins such a debate is if Spitzer totally blows it. It's not happening. So far, I've got two scenarios, one likely and the other far less so; several others are possible:
* Kamikaze Suozzi continues quixotic quest by attacking Spitzer as tool of the very organizations and individuals that have made "dysfunction" and "Albany" synonymous; goes after Eliot personally and record as AG. Suozzi forever alienates the future governor and the party; forget statewide office (Hillary wins presidency in 2008; he runs for Senate? Switches parties?); stuck in Nassau with a hostile Albany. Attack, particularly the kind that Suozzi would have to deliver, would backfire. Son of Lazio. Has to get Spitzer to lose his cool, to demonstrate anger, to be "not nice."
* Populist reformer recognizes immense difficulties of race (even though capable of waging race – petitions filed, etc.) and potential damage to party; withdraws from race to articulate a "throw the rascals out" agenda; message one: property taxes, schools, Medicaid, Albany dysfunction. Some shots at Eliot are mandatory (and deserved). Suozzi goes on to live another political day, which I think is good because Suozzi is legit: a governmental reformer, a successful county executive, an
What you won't hear: Eliot Spitzer, in response to a blistering