Jeanine’s Tax Policy

Ed Cox’s departure from the campaign makes Jeanine the de facto nominee, but her press conference this afternoon, at which she was endorsed by Governor Pataki, showed that she still has a way to go. Indeed, if you, like The Politicker, are a member of the snickering press class, a Pirro press conference is a thing almost too rich to bear.

The gathering this afternoon at the Women’s National Republican club reflected a noticeable cooling of press interest from the raucous kick-off, but still, the regulars were there and licking our chops.

One thing is clear: Pirro’s whole plan to study up on the issues? Well, maybe later.

She came out for making President Bush’s tax cut permanent, but asked to give an outline of the tax plan’s details — which groups of taxpayers benefit, and to what degree — she showed no sign of familiarity with the Bush tax cut.

She did, however, recite the usual list of bad taxes — “death tax,” “marriage penalty” — with an unusual addition: “We’ve got to have expensing for small businesses so that they can survive.”

Striking that she’d mention that one, because her husband, seated in the front row, went to jail for violating the federal law on that particular issue.

Pirro also said she’ll release “reasonable” fundraising numbers later today, but Cox’s departure and the Pataki endorsement should wash away that bad news.

Governor Pataki, off to Iowa later this month, meanwhile deplored, “one of the troubling developments of the last decade … the idea of the permanent campaign.”

At least, the Governor did not appear over-engaged in local politics. Asked about how this campaign would avoid repeating the disaster of 2004 (Howard Mills — remember him?), George was nonplused.

“I’m sorry — 2004?”