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Archive of Soothsaying

11/ 6/06

5:55 PM

Soothsaying 

What's in Store for Our Favorite Pols?

Joe Lieberman makes Zell Miller faces in the mirror every day.Photograph by Andrea Renault/Globe Photos

Joe Lieberman is the new Zell Miller.

Just as the recently retired conservative Georgia Democrat made it tough for his party to get the most from a close Senate margin in 2001, the vindicated Lieberman will return to exact some payback when the Dems take five seats and get within striking distance of actually having a voice in the chamber. Lieberman, once en route to the political dustbin, will trounce antiwar billionaire Ned Lamont and return to D.C. to prove that "ending the partisan tone in Washington" really means wringing a little sweat from the old friends who left you cold.

The Pirros are no more.

Jeanine and Bernie Kerik get hitched in Aruba, and her heartbroken ex-husband gets NY1's first-ever reality show, Al's Money, in which hopeful female contestants vie to be the lady who wins his hand in marriage.

No one wants to be comptroller when they grow up.

It's been a tough year for a man with the job no one knew existed, but Alan Hevesi will win by double digits only to be replaced in January by a comptroller who pursues a Hevesian approach without the ethical slips-ups (or at least not the terrible timing).

Hillary will begin her presidential run tomorrow night wearing …

The light-blue suit. No cross but, in a daring flourish, a tiny pentagram earring that goes undetected by the assembled press.

If John Sweeney wins …

He will pledge to "knock Nancy Pelosi around Congress."

If Tom Reynolds wins …

All the children in Eerie County will surround him and sing a disarmingly beautiful chorus of "We Are the World."

Chris Callaghan will be the happiest man in New York tomorrow.

He was the Republican Party's second choice to lose the comptroller's race (No. 1, Scott Vanderhoef, ended up being John Faso's running mate), he lacks the experience or skill to do the job, and when he returns to his old gig as Saratoga County treasurer, they will have a little party with punch and a cake. They will sing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." He will smile and nod and make a little toast. When he goes back to his desk, he will pick up the phone and call his wife and say, "Honey, I'm home."

Alan Hevesi will be the saddest man in New York.

He will rent the largest stretch limo available in New York (chauffer included), with a hot tub and a D.J. in the back. He will have it driven through the front door of the Sheraton Hotel and into the ballroom, right into the middle of a party of victorious Democrats that uninvited him. He will emerge through the sunroof in his swimming trunks and pronounce through a bullhorn, "Endorse this, ya bitches!"

2:21 PM

Soothsaying 

The Future of New York's Congressional Delegation

It doesn't take a fake fortune-teller to tell you that this Election Day will be interesting.Courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

There's nothing we like more than a good old congressional takeback. Here are the races to watch in New York and our totally guaranteed results.

13th District: Steve Harrison didn't have anything near the money or anything resembling the name recognition of entrenched incumbent Vito Fossella, a popular Republican in a conservative Catholic area of Brooklyn and Staten Island. But he had the issue: Iraq and Fossella's adamant support of President Bush. Fossella compared Harrison to Osama and accused him of taking money from terrorists, but Harrison hung tough. Still, it looks like Fossella will squeak by.

19th District: John Hall started out in this race as a long-shot musician-activist-politician. But tomorrow the seventies hit maker and environmentally conscious resident of the Hudson region will pull the unthinkable and knock off popular Republican Sue Kelly. Hall ran a smart campaign and successfully tied the "moderate" Kelly to George Bush, Iraq, and the Mark Foley scandal (Kelly oversaw the congressional page program during a portion of the Foley rampage). Kelly refused to debate Hall on local TV, and Hall was even cool and composed enough to make an appearance on The Colbert Report work in his favor.

20th District: It's been ugly, real ugly. In a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats by a wide margin, Representative John Sweeney has spectacularly self-destructed. From attending a frat party at taxpayer expense to skiing with lobbyists, he was a poster boy for the cliché of the corrupt do-nothing Republican congressman. Opponent Kirsten Gillibrand's experience has been questioned, and she ran some tongue-in-cheek ads mocking Sweeney that didn't entirely hit home. But she's surging now, and with reports in the papers last week that Sweeney abused his wife, the climate for an upset is ideal. Gillibrand in a true nail-biter.

24th District: In the region surrounding glorious Utica, Democratic prosecutor Mike Arcuri and Republican State Senator Ray Meier battle for the open seat. National parties have stepped in to spend nearly $3 million on the race, which has gotten nasty. The National Republican Congressional Committee accused Arcuri of calling a phone-sex line in 1994 and charging it to Oneida County residents. A mailer sent out by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Meier was "spending like a drunken sailor" as a state lawmaker. It's very close, but the anti-Republican tide and the state Democratic ticket carries Arcuri over the top.

26th District: Out in Western New York, RNCC head Tom Reynolds easily beat billionaire "Goldwater Democrat" Jack Davis in 2004, 56-44. This year his role in covering up the Foley scandal, which he handled abysmally, put him into a fifteen-point hole. But a helping hand from the White House, his role as point man in the relief effort following a freak blizzard, and Davis's lackluster campaign have conflated to keep Reynolds in the hunt. He'll pull it out.

29th District: Up Rochester way in a highly agricultural, traditionally Republican district, Navy vet Eric Massa has been giving one-term GOP incumbent Randy Kuhl a run for his money. His issues are Iraq and the lagging upstate economy. Kuhl is a moderate on most issues (immigration is an exception), and Massa is a centrist as well. What should've been a walk will be a run, but Kuhl will hold on.

11:55 AM

Soothsaying 

Some Sure Things on Election Day

That'll soon be Governor Eliot Spitzer to you.Photograph by Patrick McMullan

In a mere 24 hours, we members of the entrenched-and-loving-it punditocracy will be asked to step aside as the teeming masses — pitiable in their ignorance, repellent in their appearance — put down the Doritos bags, flip off QVC, and invade the local junior high where they'll line up like trained chimps and pull the red lever that shoots the bi-annual blast of morphine we call "democracy." It's never pretty, but it does shut the citizenry up for another couple of years.

The last day before an election is a long, sad process of letting go for the chattering classes, but this chatterer will not go quietly. And to do as much as possible to remove any spontaneity from tomorrow's sullied doings, Early and Often offers the following forecasts and predictions. All will come to pass, so tattoo them on whatever appendage you feel is appropriate.

Day one of the Eliot Spitzer regime will be a lot messier than he expects.

Upon being elected governor, Eliot Spitzer promises to give the corroded culture of Albany an ethical colonic. But administering this much-needed cleansing won't be so easy. Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, already frustrated that Spitzer campaigned for his Democratic opponent, may be hungry for a little payback. Appeasing Assembly Leader Shelley Silver, a Democrat, won't be much simpler. Silver is the main practitioner of the "three guys in a room" Albany decision-making process Spitzer claims he's there to break up. Spitzer and Mike Bloomberg may have issues over mayoral control of the New York school system. And, of course, there are the high-powered contributors who filled the Spitzer coffers, and those frothing fat cats don't tend to throw money around just cuz they like your winning smile and springy step.

New York will make a difference.

After a run of presidential elections in which Democrats took the state by massive margins and some snooze-fest off-year contests, the Empire State is sure to make a difference in determining the balance of Congress. Democrats need fifteen seats to take the House, and there are five local dogfights whose outcomes could alter this once-in-a-decade election. Only one of them, the battle between Vito Fossella and Steve Harrison in the Thirteenth District (Brooklyn and Staten Island) is downstate, but the upstate contests may (sorry, will) still be raging Wednesday morning as our post-election hangover kicks in.

Check back for more predictions throughout the day!

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