Sheinkopf Speaks: Kitchen table issues & the gubernatorial campaign

Gov. Kathy Hochul addresses the large crowd at the Brooklyn Democratic Party Gala, Nov. 1, 2022. Photo by Tsubasa Berg
Hank Sheinkopf


How did it get so close, why? 

It was always crime. Always.

The folks who said abortion would be the big, really big issue, maybe have never thought about what it is like to be shot at when you go out for a quart of milk and can’t even imagine that inflation means something else besides finally getting some interest payments for ever fattening cash stored in money funds or savings accounts held there simply until the day when the stock market comes back.

Generally, issue choices are like a shopping list. When you’ve got a case of the shorts—less dough than you’d thought—number one item is easy to list: inflation.

And if you read newspapers and watch news on television, hear radio, or get your news on line, the first thing that catches the eye of average guy—and even those men and women who never think of themselves as average–is who got shot where last night  and isn’t it good it’s no one I know.

Life gets simple when the bodies start stacking. The politicians have plans. They will do this and they will do that and also the other thing. Anything to tell you that it’s really not so bad. 

The most recent variation: look at how many people ride the subways and how few of those riders have been thrown onto the tracks by a crazed person who shouts obscenities at walls. And knows the walls are talking back making him even more homicidal.

Damn those walls.

The shame here is that Governor Kathy Hochul is taking the blame. 

Before she got the job, crime was the issue. Apparently the only people who didn’t get the message nor catch a whiff of the smell of human waste coming out of the corners of subway stations and streets were the Governor’s pollsters whose skills obviously do not include verifying the obvious.  

Why should they worry? They will say it was the national mood. It was really abortion. That’s what the subway madmen were so angry about.  If we had only they will say, and that well the campaign did not listen and if only they had…..And their generational cohort—that’s what they call it—will laugh at anyone who says someone must be held to some standard of responsibility for blowing through an estimated $35 million bucks or more and possibly doing what no one else has been able to do—try as they might—since 1994. That’s captain the loss of a state-wide New York office to a Republican. Or even come close to doing so.

Campaign people and both parties win races. And they lose races. This one is more than just about what some genius recently called change in the national mood. This is about a bad campaign.

Who gets hurt? Hochul, the first woman governor in history, win lose or draw. Who else? The political machines are finally done, over, finished, kaput. No one is afraid of any of them anymore. There’s no sanction for not turning people out to vote. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 will be here soon. Kathy Hochul from western New York will be left to take the rap for a lousy  campaign. And that’s a shame. Truly.