Tom Suozzi, the Nassau County Executive who plans on mounting a primary run against Eliot Spitzer, surprised the crowded dive bar Rudy's last night with a visit to Drinking Liberally.
Seemingly out of place in his suit and flanked by his staff, he quickly showed himself to be quite at home in the dark, loud bar -- greeting Liberal Drinkers and others, exchanging jokes and just making the assemblage of Hell's Kitchen locals and pint-pouring politicos feel...well...important.
Every hand he shook was one more person who went from "Who's Tom Suozzi" to "Seems OK...I'd consider him."
And this shold be a Spitzer crowd. These are progressives who admire the AG's proactive assaults on big corporate greed on corruption. These are people who know Spitzer's resume and hunger to win back Albany.
Yet these people were impressed: this Suozzi guy showed up.
There is a gnawing perception that Eliot Spitzer is running a "rose garden" strategy -- pretend you've already won. Look how it helped Kerry and Ferrer in their primaries -- they sailed through...completely ill-prepared for the general.
WEe don't need rose garden candidates; we need beer garden candidates. Mr. Attorney General, you're always welcome to come lift a glass -- or soberly shake hands -- at Drinking Liberally.