Even though Carl Paladino ostensibly started the week intent on focusing on the issues and letting the kinder, gentler Carl shine through in the wake of his confrontation with Post reporter Fred Dicker and his as-yet completely unsupported allegations of Andrew Cuomo paramours, he hasn't been all that successful. On Tuesday, for example, he called State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver a "criminal." Such a remark actually wasn't breaking any new ground for Paladino, who in March and again in April said he wanted to send Silver to Attica. But such anger isn't helping Paladino. Many voters had yet to form an opinion on Paladino after he won his primary against Rick Lazio, but he is now widely seen as a "loose cannon" with a temperament unfit for office. A Quinnipiac poll out this morning shows Cuomo's lead over Paladino growing from six points on September 22 to eighteen points today.
All of this is prelude to Paladino's big, mysterious announcement tonight. After canceling his scheduled media appearances today, Paladino bought a small block of time on channels across the state to deliver some kind of message. According to the Times:
The video, which Mr. Paladino is expected to tape Thursday afternoon, is scheduled to appear on stations in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany around 5 p.m. It will also be broadcast on several stations downstate, according to the person close to the campaign, who refused to speak publicly for fear of losing access to Mr. Paladino.
What will Paladino actually say? Who knows! An unnamed source tells the Daily News:
Paladino in secusion [sic]. Schedule cleared. Some have suggested he apologize to Cuomo and Silver, others suggest he name the ["paramour"], others favor a shift to issues, some idiots say he should suspend his campaign and endorse [Libertarian gubernatorial hopeful Warren] Redlich... Carl has spoken with [running mate] Greg Edwards. Greg is sounding out some party leaders on what Carl should do."
A different source reveals that Paladino is doing some soul-searching:
Paladino, Source 2 said, went home and "he's spending time there, and he's making his mind up what he's going do. There are party regulars telling him he needs to apologize. There are party irregulars telling him to go foward and reveal" some sort of bad oppo about Cuomo. "He's taking his own counsel."
Paladino is probably not dropping out of the race, the Daily News' Celeste Katz says. More likely is that he could apologize and signal a major shift in his campaign style in an attempt to start fresh. He could reveal something about Andrew Cuomo, paramours or otherwise. He could introduce some kind of shocking new policy proposal. Or maybe it'll just be a completely mundane message about lowering taxes and reining in spending. It really could be anything. We've learned to not try to predict what Paladino is thinking.
RED ALERT: MAJOR CARL PALADINO CAMPAIGN T.V. ANNOUNCEMENT TOMORROW » [Daily Politics/NYDN]
Paladino to Broadcast Message Across State [City Room/NYT]
Update: Apparently Paladino doesn't even know what he's going to say yet.