Saturday, May 18, 2024

Two High-Profile Endorsements Are Surprising For Two Different Reasons

In a couple of the nation’s most high-profile races to be decided on Tuesday, a pair of endorsements have made the headlines.

First, a Democratic  New York City councilmember has crossed party lines to endorse Republican Lee Zeldin for governor over incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul.

City Councilmember  Robert Holden, a moderate Democrat from Glendale, Queens, slammed Hochul over the crime wreaking havoc across the city and state.

“It is absurd what they just said about not seeing crime, Holden said about Democrat officials during an appearance on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto” program. “We see with our own eyes on the street, we see it when we ride the subways.”

Holden recalled during his interview with Cavuto what he described as the “bad old days” during the 1980s and ’90s in New York City, when “broken windows” policing proved key to pulling the Big Apple out of its crime-ridden rut.

Spearheaded by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, the “broken windows” strategy focused on responding to and taking action against smaller infractions like vandalism and turnstile-jumping to send a message to would-be criminals and, it was thought, prevent larger more serious crimes.

Bratton once told WABC Radio the younger generation doesn’t understand the importance of the strategy because they didn’t live through that time period.

“Rudy Giuliani saved New York City. And I’m a Democrat saying that,” Holden said. “But that was the truth.”

Holden said crime under Hochul and other liberal Democrats has led to New Yorkers fleeing southward, which Zeldin has also addressed on the campaign trail.

New York state has “a governor right now in there for 14 months who should be the Florida realtor of the year, because we have a mass exodus from New York City to Florida, South Carolina, Texas — it’s ridiculous,” Zeldin said.

“I’ve been a Democrat for 50 years and I voted Democrat for very many years. But we’re at a point [where] we’re losing this city, and we’re losing the state,” Holden said.

“Lee Zeldin has the momentum. We’re seeing people in my district, I think it’s overwhelming,” said Holden, adding his district is 2 to 1 Democrat but appears to favor the Republican gubernatorial hopeful with 70 percent support.

“People really need to feel safe. And when we don’t feel safe…people are moving out, not going to concerts, are not going to the movies or not taking the subways – and businesses get hurt,” said Holden.

Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement in the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race is equally if not more surprising, since she’s now opposing the man her support over the years helped make into a household name.

Winfrey announced late this week her endorsement of Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman over Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz — more widely known as simply Dr. Oz.

Although Winfrey is a Democrat, her support for Fetterman is at least notable because Oz first came to prominence as a health expert on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” before he got his own talk show in 2009, which was then produced by Winfrey’s company, Harpo. His show ended in January after he decided to run for Congress.

Fetterman’s campaign suggested Winfrey’s support for the Democrat instead of Oz “speaks volumes.

“Oprah is widely regarded as the person who helped launch Dr. Oz’s career, and knows him well,” the Fetterman campaign noted .
Fetterman called Winfrey’s endorsement an “honor and privilege,” and said she is a “leader on so many issues — fighting for our democracy, passing common-sense gun reform, and ensuring racial justice. I’m grateful for Oprah’s support and trust on the issues that matter to people across the country and Pennsylvania as we close out this campaign.”

“Oprah is widely regarded as the person who helped launch Dr. Oz’s career, and knows him well,” the campaign said.

“I’ll tell you all this, if I lived in Pennsylvania, I would have already cast my vote for John Fetterman for many reasons,” Winfrey said during a teleconference with community leaders.

After the primaries, Winfrey declined to make an endorsement in the race after the primaries, saying it was up to Pennsylvanians to decide.

Since then, the polls have tightened, with Fetterman’s lead having shrunk to a negligible advantage,

“That is not the only race that matters,” Winfrey said. “If I was in North Carolina…Sister [Cheri] Beasley there, and if I was in Florida, I’d be supporting Val Demings. If I was in Wisconsin, it would be Mandela Barnes. In Nevada, [Catherine] Cortez Masto, and in Texas, Beto O’Rourke and Raphael Warnock and the incredible Stacey Abrams, of course, in Georgia.”