Governor Teachout? Governor Hawkins?

There have been no public polls of a head-to-head contest between Cuomo and Teachout.

Wu and Teachout in June 2014 (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Wu and Teachout in June 2014 (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Professor Alan Chartock correctly notes that Governor Andrew Cuomo should have left Zephyr Teachout alone, rather than trying to get her thrown off the September 9 primary ballot in the Democrats’ race for governor. I’m not so sure that she “knows” that she cannot win, as Chartock suggests. She seems to be running a vigorous campaign, even though most people STILL don’t know who she is.

But they know who HE is, and it isn’t all pretty.” Corporatist” and “bully” and possibly “corrupt”, some suggest, and I think that gives her a fighting chance.

That is why I’m frustrated that there have been no public polls of a head-to-head contest between Cuomo and Teachout. I wish that they be out there asking the question, if only because it would inform people that there actually IS a primary on September 9. Voting is from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in New York City, but only from noon to 9 p.m. upstate.

Moreover, a race for lieutenant governor as well, between Kathy Hochul and Tim Wu is emerging. I can’t imagine Hochul, Cuomo’s pick has such great name recognition that she couldn’t be knocked off by Teachout’s running mate Wu; moreover, from clips from the Teachout-Wu campaign, Hochul is far more conservative than most Democrats in this state. The insurgent ticket of Teachout and Wu is picking some endorsements, maybe not enough to knock off the governor, but certainly his pick for the second spot.

The pollsters keep asking about the Cuomo-Rob Astorino race but usually leave Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins off the ballot. I suspect, if Teachout loses, a lot of disaffected Democrats, irritated by Cuomo’s Working Families Party endorsement, the Moreland Commission debacle, and general irritation with the governor is a bully, will vote for Hawkins, especially if they feel it won’t cause Astorino to win.

But if Teachout wins the primary, Cuomo COULD remain governor, since he’s still on the Working Families Party line, and Teachout and Hawkins could split the progressive vote.


MOVIE REVIEW: Magic in the Moonlight

The movie Magic in the Moonlight that was about sleight-of-hand was rather slight,

magic+in+the+moonlight+posterWednesday night at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany, the Wife and I went to see Magic in the Moonlight. There are still several films we want to see, but at 97 minutes, this was the shortest; when you hire a child watcher, time is definitely money.

I am a huge Woody Allen fan. Afterward, I thought it was a better than OK movie, though my wife thought it lagged in the first half. Maybe it was that we’d see too much in the preview?

We knew that a magician, Stanley (Colin Firth) is brought to the south of France by his friend Howard (Simon McBurney) to try to debunk this American “mystic”, Sophie (Emma Stone), before she defrauds the Catledge family: mother Grace (Jacki Weaver, who for some reason reminded us both of Sally Struthers), smitten son Brice (Hamish Linklater), and daughter Caroline (Erica Leerhsen, with not much to do).

Much to the consternation/irritation of the arrogant Englishman with a dislike of spiritual claims, yet he has difficulty discovering how Sophie pulls off the ruse if it IS a ruse.

Most of that I knew from the ads, and to say more would be a spoiler, except that whatever laughs to be had are in the second half, after all the above is established. Oh, and that the biggest delight of the movie is Stanley’s aunt Vanessa (Eileen Atkins) in a movie that also features Catherine McCormack as Stanley’s girlfriend, Olivia, and Marcia Gay Harden as Sophie’s mother.

A lot of the reviews were lukewarm towards the movie. Several critics made a similar pun/suggestion that the movie that was about sleight-of-hand was rather slight, and maybe that’s the issue. The film touches upon the issues of God, Nietzsche, and faith versus rationalism, yet perhaps isn’t substantial enough to bear the weighty topics.

I liked it well enough, particularly the period outfits and cars from the 1920s, and it has a suitable ending. But after seeing recent Woody movies such as Midnight in Paris and Blue Jasmine, this is clearly a lesser effort.

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