Dead Party Walking

On Wednesday at their state convention, Republicans delegates chose former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer as their U.S. Senate nominee to dethrone Queen Clinton. The decision was widely expected, especially since Spencer had the endorsement of state GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik and the state Conservative Party. What wasn’t expected was Spencer’s margin of victory, as he won 63 percent of the delegate vote (he needed 51 percent to win the party’s official designation), while K.T. McFarland garnered 36.5 percent.

Although K.T. got 26.5 percent fewer delegates than Spencer, she still received more than the 25 percent required to make the primary in September. But Spencer urged McFarland to end her campaign and avoid a contentious primary in order to beat Hillary: "The Republican Party must unite," Spencer told delegates after he won. "If we don’t unite, the Democrats have themselves a cake walk" (although even if the GOP unites, Hillary’s election will still be easy as pie, or whatever confectionary metaphor Republicans want to use). McFarland insists that she’s in the race to the end, even though, as she strangely but accurately put it, Hillary’s "better known in Albania than I am in Albany."

It looks like, more than ever, 2006 will be Hillary’s year. Not only will she be going against an underfunded, no-name opponent in a liberal state, but she has the good fortune to run on a Democratic ticket that looks like it will win a clean sweep for the first time in a dozen years.