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Looks Like Hillary Doesn’t Have to Worry

October 21st, 2005

The Republicans would like little more than to smack down Hillary Clinton, and the best way to do that would be to defeat her in next year’s senatorial election. However, there’s a little snag: the Republican candidate, Jeanine Pirro.

First, when she announced her candidacy, she made a major gaffe. While giving a prepared speech in which she attempted to savage Hillary, she lost page ten of her speech. Now, Bill Clinton gave his first State of the Union address off the top of his head when his TelePrompTer showed the wrong speech, and nobody even noticed; any good politician should be ready to wing it in cases like this. Not Pirro. She finished the text on page nine with the words “Hillary Clinton…” and then spent 32 seconds (Quicktime video) trying to find page ten. Not exactly your standard electrifying, crowd-charging, go-getter kind of political sex appeal you might be looking for when opening your campaign.

More recently, Pirro has shown she is unable to raise enough money–while Clinton raised more than $5 million in the past three months, Pirro raised less than a tenth of that over the past two months. And maybe it has to do with her mailing list, which is out of date: she sent out a fundraising letter, asking for funds to unseat Hillary Clinton… and a copy was sent to Hillary Clinton. Not only that, it was sent to Hillary Clinton at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Either that’s out of date, or it’s ironically prescient. The letter even had the special computer-generated insert-recipient’s-name-here function, and read: “But today, Hillary, I need to know if I can count on you to stand by my side in my campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

When Hillary didn’t send a check, Pirro got a bit of money elsewhere–like $1,750 from Salvatore Promuto, accused in an anti-trust investigation in trash hauling; $4,200 (the maximum allowed contribution) from a company owned by Robert F. Ferrucci, accused of bribery; as well as several other close friends of Pirro’s husband, many of whom gave the maximum amount. And yes, her husband Al Pirro was convicted on 66 counts of tax fraud in 2001. In short, a large chunk of the small amount Pirro has raised comes from her husband’s business connections, many of whom have alleged mob affiliations. Nor has she done well with money in general–she used three full-time police officers as drivers and bodyguards, paying them a great deal in overtime for political events without reimbursing the county, at a time when money was so tight that six prosecutors were laid off.

And now Pirro has put her foot in her mouth with her latest charge: that New York Democrats want nothing more than to see violent sex offenders molesting children and murdering women. Yeah, that’s right–I think that was on the Democratic party platform, in fact! Yeah, that’s the ticket! Why, I was telling that to my wife, Morgan Fairchild, just the other day! (Apologies to Jon Lovitz.)

Now, Pirro’s campaign manager is claiming that her words were “taken out of context.” The quote was: “That’s a difference between Democrats and Republicans – we don’t want them next door molesting children and murdering women.” Now, I could not find the full text of her statement, but it’s kind of hard to see how that could be taken out of context, unless the words she spoke just before were “I would never say something like….” Which I doubt.

In short, Pirro is doing just fine. From Hillary’s point of view, of course. From the Republican party’s point of view, she’s a disaster and an embarrassment. And she might be the best thing to give Hillary a landslide and propel her on to the White House. At which time, maybe she can respond to that fundraising letter.

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