It's not a fun morning when you open up the New York Post and read that Gov. Cuomo wants to spend $10 million telling New Yorkers that you're a bad guy. But that's the reality that Rob Astorino faces as he mounts his campaign for governor this winter.
Last week, we looked at what Andrew Cuomo needs to do in his re-election campaign. Beyond hoping for the governor to self-destruct and have a nuclear meltdown, Astorino's to-do list is a little more daunting.
• Work it. While there are plenty of things that are outside your control (like hoping the governor is caught in some sort of freakish scandal), you can totally achieve the first goal on this list. Relentlessly campaign across the state. Book yourself on every single radio show that will have you and bother every small TV station and newspaper whenever you're in town (which should be often.) Hold lots of press conferences railing against the governor while trying to tell people of "the Westchester Success Story."
• Try to create a GOP love network. Sure, there are no statewide Republican elected officials but there are a bunch of local lawmakers elected on the GOP line. Find the ones who are popular in their backyard and hope that they'll be seen with you at campaign events as you press your case against the governor. (And be prepared for a bunch of them not to return your phone call.)
• Get under the governor's skin. Cuomo so far is taking the high road and pretending you don't exist. Watch some of that discipline go out the window if you continue to rail against his upstate economic policies. You desperately need the governor to engage you in a fight – and the best way for that to happen is by rattling him.
• Raise more money. Admittedly, this is obvious but the best way you can accomplish this is by following the rest of the advice on this list and seem like a viable candidate rather than a speed bump. Many national big-money Republicans right now are focusing on capturing the U.S. Senate. You need to convince them that it's possible to make national headlines and take down Cuomo.
• Discover your inner love of guns upstate. Cuomo's SAFE act has hurt him in the region so explain your problems with the legislation and how it was implemented but avoid looking like a gun nut.
• Embrace your suburban base. Cuomo will almost certainly romp in New York City and you will automatically get some support upstate so for a Republican to win statewide, the city's suburbs have to be colored red. While that's not an impossible task in your home county of Westchester, you will have to explain to Long Islanders that you understand their issues better than the governor.
• Lastly, as the governor licks his lips and counts his campaign cash while the political season warms up, pray.