To the Editor,
There has been a lot of talk surrounding Robert Astorino’s announcement he is seeking the Republican nomination for governor of New York. There has been criticism by Democrats, especially that he was just re-elected as county executive and now he decides to run for the gubernatorial seat.
A quick look at history will show that County Executive Astorino is no different than any other politician, Democrat or Republican, and that he is as mendacious and self-serving as any other politician, including President Barack Obama.
In 1964, Robert F. Kennedy defeated incumbent Kenneth Keating for the junior senatorial seat in New York. In less than three-and-a-half years, he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president on St. Patricks Day in 1968. He even used Earl Graves, former CEO of Black Enterprise who was an aide to him at the time, to get on a plane after Dr. King’s murder in an effort to garner more political support from the black community for president.
People may romanticize about RFK, and there indeed was a sense of social injustice, racially and economically, that he was trying to combat, but his short tenure as senator and aspirations to become president are very much in-line with the abbreviated positions of elections in which candidates on both sides of the political spectrum invariably engage.
Corey Booker, elected mayor of Newark in 2006, ran for a senate seat a little more than halfway through his second term as mayor, announcing his candidacy five days after Frank Lautenberg’s death.
Barack Hussein Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. In three short years, he decided to run for president, giving a very dishonest speech at the Democratic convention in 2004 with the refrain “only in America.” He ignored the racist, inhuman and brutal treatment of black men throughout this country’s history.
Chris Christie, elected governor in 2009, a little more than halfway through his first term, considered running for the Republican nomination for president. He pondered the possibility, but then decided not to because the time is not right and the financial resources are not there.
County Executive Astorino—and I am no fan of his as far as his stance on affordable housing, abortion and gun control—is like any other politician that may enact policies that indeed may do some good things for the citizenry at-large, as Cory Booker and President Obama have done when it comes to the millions that go hungry. But the main concern for each of these men and
women—Hillary Clinton is certainly included in this category—is that elected office is a stepping stone to higher office. The compensation, attention and political power that are concomitant with those positions are the main objectives.
Astorino, like the rest, is more concerned with his political career than he is looking to be a public servant.