Democratic handwringing over the way Eliot Spitzer‘s campaign is being run reached a new intensity today with the report that Eliot will try to keep Tom Suozzi off the ballot through party-convention maneuvering.
The argument for this move is that it will cost Suozzi a lot of money — as much as half a million dollars, absorbing his attention and resources.
The argument against:
“Dumb move of the year,” writes one well-connected Democrat. “Play right into his insider/outsider frame of the race. Make him a martyr. Look like assholes. And force him to pull together a statewide field operation.”
Few doubt that, with the money Suozzi raises, he’ll be able to get his name on the ballot.
“t’ll cost him $150,000 and it will be worth every penny,” writes my correspondent. “By the time he’s done, he’ll have a real operation, that was forced to show work-product, as opposed to the all-star crew of county organizations. I mean, this is really, really stupid. What is the argument FOR doing it? They can’t honestly think it will come anywhere close to keeping him off the ballot.”
It is a byproduct of Eliot’s fabled confidence that the Democrats with jitters also have reservations about expressing them to the candidate or his staff.
(Of course, Suozzi might save Eliot yet. The press release announcing his announcement went out this morning with the wrong date.)