New York Republican powers-that-be are trying to clear the field for John Spencer to take on Hillary unhindered. Even though Kathleen "K.T." McFarland won a respectable 36% of the delegates vote at last week’s state party convention, thus securing herself a spot on the GOP primary ballot in September, party Chairman Stephen Minarik asked her to step down for the sake of party unity.
It was to no avail, though, as Minarik said that "I gave it to her and she volleyed right back. She said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’"
According to the Associated Press, other state GOP heavyweights have also weighed in with McFarland, urging her to withdraw. For his part, Spencer has always maintained that a primary would be a "death sentence" for any effort to beat Hillary, and that "if we don’t unite, the Democrats have themselves a cake walk."
But K.T. just isn’t listening at this point.
She insisted through a statement that "I have earned my spot on the ballot in September and I intend to keep it. To do anything else would be to renege on my promise to the hundreds of people I have met in the last 11 weeks, who have supported me, often against the pressures of the party bosses." Uh, someone needs to tell K.T. it is going to take more that "hundreds of people" to beat Sen. Clinton, or even Spencer for that matter.
Just a day or two ago, New York Republicans were able to persuade Bill Weld to withdraw from the governor’s race. Weld had far more experience in politics than McFarland (former governor, federal prosecutor), but also faced an uphill battle against his presumptive Dem opponent, Eliot Spitzer. McFarland must be awfully confident of the righteousness of her cause to resist the pressures that the veteran Weld couldn’t.