Missing from the both lists is Rep. Michael Arcuri ☼, the freshman Democrat from New York who defeated Republican Ray Meier, 54%-45%, last November. Arcuri represents a district where Republicans have a 30,000 edge in registration and President Bush carried in both 2000 and 2004.
Does this mean Republicans will give Arcuri a free pass in 2008?
Last week when I asked Rep. Tom Reynolds about New York’s 24th District, the former NRCC chairman acted as though he didn’t hear my question. When I repeated it, he avoided giving me an answer. He first talked about New York’s 19th and 20th districts, where Democrats also prevailed last November. Finally, Reynolds wrapped up his answer by saying that he’d spoken to some Republicans who might be interested in running against Arcuri, but he also wouldn’t rule out another run by Meier.
One of the reasons Mr. Arcuri won is that Mr. Meier wouldn't effectively campaign against him because of their friendship, a problem exacerbated by the NRCC's inane mistargeting of the "phone sex" ad. I like Mr. Meier, but I don't think his campaign was run with any sense of urgency or aggressiveness. The taint of that failed campaign is, unfortunately, exactly why Mr. Meier shouldn't run again.
Who should run against him? At this point I don't know, but whoever it ends up being needs to pound Mr. Arcuri on the issues he's already flip-flopped on like single-issue emergency appropriations, earmark reform, pork spending, and the Oneida Nation. Anyone that doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to get into the race to win doesn't deserve to be in the race to begin with.