Hot summer items from a hot campaign trail:
• East Aurora political consultant Michael Caputo made a national semi-splash last week when heading out I-90 somewhere in Ohio. Returning to his Republican National Convention communications post in Cleveland, Caputo learned that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign manager – Corey Lewandowski – had been fired.
Obviously never a member of the Corey Lewandowski Fan Club, Caputo reached to his phone and tapped out “Ding Dong the witch is dead” in one of the deep philosophical observations offered by Twitter. A few hours later, Caputo learned his tweet was unappreciated in Trump World, and he was headed back to East Aurora.
A veteran of other presidential campaigns, Caputo later acknowledged his move will not merit Mensa membership. But many political observers say the tweet ranked as tame in the grand scheme of politics.
Many of those same observers note Trump’s penchant for firing people (heck, he built a whole TV show around the concept), and then rehiring them. It is not inconceivable Caputo may someday return to Trump World.
• One local Republican who remains very much a part of Trump World is Stephanie McGrath, who will act as logistics director for communications during the Cleveland convention beginning July 18. The Canisius College graduate served for three years as Chairman Nick Langworthy’s operations director at Erie County Republican Headquarters, proved a key operative during Trump’s New York primary victory in April, stayed on to work several other state primaries, and is now dispatched to Cleveland.
• Speaking of conventions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week in Buffalo that he will attend the Democratic affair in Philadelphia that begins July 25 and assume “some role.” That might be expected for the Democratic governor of New York.
But Cuomo does things his way, and made only one public appearance – an impassioned speech defending Democratic principles – before the New York delegation at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Will he this year slate a similar effort before the entire convention and a national audience?
• Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown will also attend the Philly conclave in the conspicuous role of new chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee and head of the nominee’s home state delegation. If tradition is observed, the mayor will command the floor microphone to cast the vote officially naming Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president in a ceremony watched by millions around the world.
The last Buffalonian to lead the home state delegation of the Democratic nominee was Paul Fitzpatrick in 1944, who presumably (believe it or not, the Politics Column was not there) entered FDR’s name into nomination. And at the GOP convention that same year, Buffalo’s Edwin F. Jaeckle would have performed the same function for Republican nominee Thomas E. Dewey of New York.
Buffalo’s Carl Paladino told The News last week that Republican nominee Donald Trump would like his son – Donald Jr. – to place his name in nomination. In any event, two New Yorkers will face each other for the presidency for the first time since that New York year of 1944.
• Erie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner occupied a prime seat at Cuomo’s Wednesday appearance at Evergreen Commons on Buffalo’s West Side. Things have significantly changed for the chairman, who back in 2013 had to talk his way into a Cuomo fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
• Quote of the Week originates with former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark, who remains optimistic about another kidney transplant following the apparent failure of his initial procedure performed in Arizona back on March 27.
When he returned to his Buffalo home last week after eight months in Arizona, he said he heard from most of the current candidates for DA.
“I hope each has the character to stick to the issues,” Clark said. “My message to them: Keep it clean.”