In the wake of Super Tuesday, I’ve been wondering about the significance of endorsements by locally elected officials and organizations of presidential candidates.
I was covering a meeting of the newly reorganized Schenectady County Republican Club last week on the same day that Rudy Giuliani suspended his bid for the presidency.
Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, was in attendance and gave a brief speech endorsing Senator John McCain. He called McCain a straight talker and said the Arizona senator’s more moderate approach to social issues and his views on the economy aligned with the views of the New York State GOP.
`Not only will he cut taxes, but he’ll cut spending,` said Tedisco.
Now, it’s not like Tedisco was necessarily speaking for the group`he was simply echoing the sentiments he had voiced with other state Republican leaders earlier in the day, but before the meeting was out the reformed club had endorsed Giuliani.
Nearly 60 people showed up on Super Tuesday at Scarborough’s Restaurant to watch the returns amidst McCain campaign signs.
Many of the people in attendance, including club president Josh Fitzpatrick, who is also Tedisco’s director of communications, wore McCain stickers or buttons.
One has to ask whether or not Tedisco’s comments made an impact on the people in attendance. Did his comments on Jan. 30 turn into votes for McCain on Super Tuesday that could have gone to Romney or Huckabee had he not spoken to the thirty or so people who decided they wanted to join Republican club? Again, his comments were uttered at a Republican club meeting and not a McCain rally.
Of course, by endorsing McCain, the club does show unity. Schenectady’s newly formed Young Democrats can’t endorse a candidate during the primaries according to national rule, said David Fronk, president of the Young Dems.
But, club member and a co-worker of Fronk’s at the Schenectady County Legislature, Theresa Cassiack was Hillary Clinton’s county chair.
While she said Clinton probably wouldn’t come to Schenectady anytime soon, she said the Senator would likely make a stop in Saratoga in early spring.
U.S. Congresswoman Kristen Gillibrand, D-Clifton Park, and U.S. Congressman Michael McNulty, D-Green Island, are among the Democrats in the region who have endorsed Senator Clinton.
Do endorsements influence your vote? Do endorsements by some politicians actually hurt the endorsed candidate? Feel free to voice your opinion here.
*For more on the Schenectady County Republican Club and the Schenectady County Young Democrats, pick up a copy of The Spotlight on Feb. 14. Think of it as a Valentine’s Day gift.