Saturday, September 20, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: Trying Not to Recchia His Campaign

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"Whatever it is – I'm against it!" – Groucho Marx

Here's a good rule of thumb for all politicians: If you oppose something, it's smart to know why.

Congressional candidate Domenic Recchia wasn't quite able to jump that low bar yesterday when he was asked about his opposition to The Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Asian free-trade pact being pushed by President Obama.

After meeting with labor leaders, Recchia was asked by NY1's Courtney Gross about the trade pact:
Recchia: Made in America. That's what we are all about.?
Gross: What exactly is the TPP??
Recchia staffer: We're going to head back inside.?
Gross: What exactly is the TPP?

Later, Recchia tried to clarify things but wasn't so clear: "The Trans-Pacific Partnership is, we have to manufacture more here in America, keep the jobs in America, and it comes to a point in time when we have to stick up for the workers, and made in America is better for this country."

Following the mercy rule, I won't transcribe Recchia's stumbling attack on Grimm's record with organized labor.

Recchia should be sitting in the catbird seat. He's facing Michael Grimm – a Congressman who's been indicted and got national attention for threatening a NY1 reporter. Instead – according to a NY1 poll he's trailing Grimm, 44 to 40 percentage points.

A look back at the last four Congressional races in the district shows that Recchia currently is at the minimum baseline for Democratic candidates in the district – who all of have gotten at least 41 percent of the vote since 2004. The good news for Recchia is that Grimm's numbers are positively anemic for an incumbent.

For Recchia to unseat Grimm, though, he's going to need to convince voters that he deserves to be handed the keys to the car. Yesterday's fumbles aren't a good start.

Bob Hardt

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