Fred Dicker said on his Talk 1300 radio show this morning that George Pataki's endorsement of Conservative Doug Hoffman in the 23rd Congressional District must mean the former governor will not run for U.S. Senate next year against Kirsten Gillibrand. I think the opposite -- or at least that it depends on what happens Tuesday in the congressional vote. Dicker's reasoning is that Pataki's abandonment of the GOP congressional candidate, Dede Scozzafava, will alienate his fellow Republicans to the extent that they would refuse to hand him the nomination for Senate. But maybe his analysis is clouded by his enmity to Pataki .
If Hoffman wins, he is likely to become a more reliable Republican vote in the House than Scozzafava, and will very probably be the Republican nominee in 2010. And even if he loses to Democrat Bill Owens, he is still likely to wind up ahead of Scozzafava, demonstrating that it was a mistake for party leaders to give her the nomination. Pataki, who moved to the dysfunctional middle of New York politics during his 12 years as governor, won back some conservative street cred with the endorsement. That will be politically helpful if he goes after the Senate seat.