Murphy's Law Redux
I typically enjoy the political insights of veteran Republican campaign operative Mike Murphy, who frequently doubles as an analyst for several national media outlets. I was genuinely impressed in 2008, when he was perhaps the first high-profile Republican to stick his neck out and argue that Sarah Palin was actually a bad vice presidential pick by John McCain. So, I don’t know quite what to make of this post by Murphy over at’s Swampland blog. In the post, Murphy argues that former New York Governor George Pataki just might parlay his recent success with independent group advocacy into a sleeper win in the New Hampshire Primary. I must confess that I can’t tell whether this is intended to be taken with one’s tongue firmly implanted in cheek (hat tip to veteran Pataki-watcher Dante Scala for bringing the post to my attention).
I agree with Murphy that Pataki seems to have finally found his post-gubernatorial voice through independent advocacy group work both during the 2010 midterm elections with Revere America and now with his new group No American Debt. But the unintentional beauty of the advocacy group approach for Pataki is that it prevents the candidate from muddling the message. Were Pataki actually to run for the nomination, that would mean putting this particular candidate back into the mix, and that is where Murphy loses me. I’ve been watching Pataki for many years, and I just don’t see it happening for him in the Granite State. Murphy is smart enough to qualify this scenario as a long shot, and perhaps there is some validity to his idea that Pataki’s advocacy group success moves him up the vice presidential nominee depth chart. But that is not the same thing as Pataki upsetting Mitt Romney in the primary.

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