Weld Presents Jacobs, Bruno Shrugs

Exasperated.

That’s the word Jason just used to describe Bill Weld’s tone as he unveiled his running mate out at the Republican convention on Long Island.

“Chris and I are lacking in one area,” Weld said at his press conference in the Hofstra Arena, referring to Chris Jacobs, the 39 year-old secretary of state. “We are both strangers to the halls of Albany.”

But just moments after touting Jacobs as an Albany outsider, Weld took pains to explain that his youthful-looking lieutenant governor pick was no inexperienced fill-in. “Chris has been at the top of my list for a long time,” Weld insisted, poiting out with a hint of annoyance, “He’s a statewide office holder.”

Later, Weld added reassuringly that Jacobs was “a real grownup when it comes to public policy approaches and decision making.”

As for the convention, Weld said that the balloting was still too close to call.

But he dismissed out of hand the possibility – floated by Joe Bruno – that he could wind up running on a ticket with John Faso, saying that his opponent had made it “pellucidly clear” that it wasn’t going to happen. (Weld, lest we forget, is a Nabokov enthusiast.)

Meanwhile, Jacobs, who has been active on education issues in Buffalo, said he was surprised that Weld didn’t go for a running mate with “higher name recognition” and made the admirably frank admission that he wouldn’t have accepted Weld’s offer if there had been “any real pushback from the governor’s office.”

Shortly after the press conference, Jason caught up with Joe Bruno, who made it clear that his preference was still for a Jacob-less ticket consisting of John Faso and Bill Weld.

“Together,” he insisted, “they make a great combination.”

Informed that Weld had just declared such an arrangement unworkable, Bruno said, “We’ll see – you never know.”

Awkward.