George Pataki Is Running For President For Some Reason

Campaign 2016

Former New York Governor George Pataki, who has flirted with the idea of running for President in the past, will be entering the race for the Republican nomination next week:

Former New York Governor George Pataki indicated on Wednesday that he would announce his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination next week in New Hampshire.

Last week, Pataki said he would be in Exeter, the New Hampshire town known as the birthplace of the Republican Party, on May 28 to announce whether he would be a candidate. In an interview on CNN on Wednesday he joked about his trip to the state, which plays a key role in determining presidential nominees.

“There are some things going on in New Hampshire,” he said. “I think it’s called a primary, something like that, first in the nation.”

While stopping short of announcing plans to run, Pataki said he thought conditions had gotten worse globally. “If you have an ability to lead and you sit it out, shame on you.”

As with several other recent entries into the race, it’s hard to conceive of any reason why George Pataki would be doing this that doesn’t involve enhancing his own resume with an eye on either future speaking engagements or a Presidential appointment should the GOP win the election next year. He is sufficiently a non-factor nationally that his name has not even been included in any of the national or state-level polls that have been released so far. One suspects, though, that if he were included he would be down near the bottom of the pack along with candidates like Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, and John Kaisch. Additionally, while Pataki’s three terms in Albany were rather successful there’s really nothing about his time as Governor that distinguishes him, and the fact that he has been out of office for so long makes it unclear what relevance a job he had more than a decade ago might be to voters in 2015. Finally, there’s the simple fact that, while Pataki is a conservative as far as New York politics is concerned, he is decidedly not in sync with the base of the Republican Party.

This is another vanity run, folks.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.


  1. Mu says:

    Come on Doug, you know you want to run. Go for it, they just bought a larger car.

  2. grumpy realist says:

    @Mu: Heck, I’d rather see Doug than most of the clowns who have climbed into the Republican transportation device.

    I’m really looking forwards to the Republican “debates”. R. Priebus must be pulling his hair out over the logistics.

  3. Mu says:

    They’re going to use the “X-Factor” format, with Pat Buchanan, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh as judges.

  4. Tillman says:

    Starting to resemble the 2003 gubernatorial election in California, which had something like a hundred candidates.

  5. DrDaveT says:

    Awesome — the Klown Kar now has a designated driver…

    (Seriously, Pataki is probably the least unqualified of anyone in the race yet. That’s beyond pathetic.)

  6. michael reynolds says:

    The economics have changed. Used to be you couldn’t run without some support. Now as long as you have a friendly billionaire willing to shower cash on you, why not run if that’s what floats your boat.

    My question is: why is that what floats your boat? What the hell is wrong with a grown human being that he or she would want to spend months living in crappy rustic motels eating diner food and spending all day giving the same damn speech over and over, only pausing to spend some quality time chatting with morons?

    How empty is your existence that that’s how you want to spend the next year of your life?

  7. PJ says:

    George Pataki Is Running For President For Some Reason

    Well, there is a clown car full of clowns.
    Maybe the clown car runs off a cliff one day while Pataki isn’t on it?

  8. grumpy realist says:

    @michael reynolds: Running for POTUS–it’s what you do for retirement fun!

    Honestly, I can’t figure out if these guys are jumping in as grifters or whether they’re brain-damaged enough to think they might actually have a chance. A lot of them seem to be saying “well, if I catch fire in Iowa, then….” regardless of whether they’re acting as pet goose for some rambunctious billionaire.

    America–it’s got the best government money can buy.

  9. Dave Schuler says:

    The odds of a brokered convention are getting higher all the time.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    That’s the hope I cling to. I haven’t really watched a fun convention since 1968.

  11. TheoNott says:

    He exited office the same year as Jeb Bush. So why is Pataki considered old news at this point, but people still view Jeb as a viable Presidential candidate? Oh right, his surname is Bush. Nevermind.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    Who knew that the 2016 race would turn into a variation on a Disney movie…Snow White and the Seventeen Dwarfs…

  13. michael reynolds says:


    That plus Mr. Bush might carry Florida, no way Mr. Pataki carries New York.