Robert Novak

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The disgraced Eliot Spitzer had hardly resigned as governor of New York when Republican strategists began calculating a return to power in Albany via New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Lt. Gov. David Paterson, Spitzer's successor as governor, is considered a weak prospect for the 2010 election and might not even be the Democratic nominee. Bloomberg, finishing two successful terms as mayor in 2009, might find life as a private citizen boring enough to try for governor. Bloomberg, who changed his affiliation from Republican to independent, could obtain the Independence Party nomination for governor, and then be endorsed by the GOP.

A footnote: Democratic state legislators watching television Monday cheered when they heard the disliked Spitzer admit his guilt. But that joy faded as the Democrats contemplated that Spitzer's fall could trigger a Republican comeback in 2010. Democrats contemplate a takeover of all branches of the state government to control decennial redistricting.

PREDICTING SPITZER

Republican political operative Roger Stone, Eliot Spitzer's longtime antagonist, predicted the New York governor's political demise more than three months in advance.

"Eliot Spitzer will not serve out his term as governor of the state of New York," Stone said Dec. 6 on Michael Smerconish's radio talk show on Philadelphia's 1210 WPHT. He gave no details.

Spitzer's sudden entrapment by federal authorities investigating a prostitution ring raised immediate speculation that Stone, with a 40-year record as a political hit man, somehow was behind it. In truth, Stone had nothing to do with the investigation and said he had not heard about it when he made a prediction based on his general view of Spitzer.

RECLUSIVE BARACK

Early morning trainers and exercisers at the Greenville, Miss., YMCA on Mississippi primary day last Tuesday got a taste of Sen. Barack Obama's reclusiveness, which the traveling press corps has learned to accept.

After speaking at Tougaloo College on Monday night, Obama went to the "Y" at 6:30 a.m. for a workout. He greeted nobody and did not respond when people there called out to him. That aloofness has been the pattern in the Democratic presidential candidate's behavior toward reporters who cover him.

After finishing his workout, Obama returned to his gregarious campaign mode with a visit to black-owned Buck's restaurant in Greenville before leaving the state. He won Mississippi comfortably against Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Cox for VP?


Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.
 

 
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