George Pataki Is Running For President In 2016
But can the former New York governor convince his party he's the best choice to take on fellow Westchester candidate Hillary Clinton?
Michael Vadon / Wikimedia Commons
New Twitter Logo? Check. Social Media outreach? Check. YouTube video announcement? Check. George Pataki is running for president.
The former New York governor and mayor of Peekskill's campaign kicked off today with a focus on American spirit and unity—the kind, Pataki said, the country had in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In a YouTube video this morning (complete with a newly minted “Pataki for President” logo), Pataki spoke proudly about his role in the country’s response to the attacks; he was serving his second of his three terms as governor in 2001.
Pataki has been dropping hints for some time—he met in New York City with conservative donor David Koch, has made several recent trips to the crucial GOP primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and has been publicly critical of President Obama’s policies (the one thing all the Republican hopefuls so far have in common), most notably when he told Newsmax TV’s Steve Malzberg in August that the president was “thrashing the constitution in ways that were only dreamed of.” During his trip to New Hampshire earlier this year, he also criticized Obama by railing against his Affordable Care Act. There, Pataki called for less government spending and power, and stated that America could not afford to elect another Democrat after Obama’s presidency.
However, Pataki could have a hard time convincing social conservatives and national voters that he’s the person to take on the Democrats. He’s noticeably more supportive of abortion rights, has looked more favorably on environmental causes than other Republicans, and has a reputation of not being the most charismatic guy—at least among some political observers and academics.
Daniel McCarthy, chair of the Division of Social Sciences at The College of New Rochelle, told Westchester Magazine that, “Pataki is a...bland character, which helped in the sense that no one really hated him, but no one really loved him either.”