Fossella, Again?

Republicans are having some trouble finding a candidate to run for the Congressional seat Vito Fossella is planning to vacate at the end of the year.

Could they find a solution by turning to … Fossella?

A couple of political consultants I talked to think the idea is at least theoretically plausible. He has, they point out, managed to get through the worst of the press coverage without disappearing entirely from the public eye. (He has been maintaining a surprisingly unremarkable presence at parades.) And he’d sort of be operating, if he chose to renew interest in running on the Republican line, in a vacuum. As Dan Gerstein put it, Fossella “may be able to get the G.O.P. nomination since they can’t seem to give the seat away on that side.” (This, in a district in which George W. Bush won 55 percent of the vote in 2004.)

Another consultant, Joe Mercurio, told me that in light of Eliot Spitzer’s hooker habit and David Paterson’s non-traditional marriage and the City Council’s slush fund, Fossella’s love child isn’t actually such a big deal.

“If he called me right now and asked me what to do, I’d say run,” Mercurio said.

The catch, of course, is that Fossella himself has given no indication that he’d be interested in running again, and no one who talks to him with any regularity seems to think it’s even a remote possibility.

“Others might be rethinking the viability of Vito Fossella candidacy, but I don’t believe Vito is thinking about it,” said Republican City Councilman Jimmy Oddo.

Fossella, Again?