Rep. Vito Fossella — the city’s lone Republican congressman — spent considerable time in his 2006 re-election campaign running away from the policies of an unpopular President Bush.
Never mind that the vast majority of Bush’s failed agenda has had Fossella’s rubber stamp. With Congress on the verge of a Democratic takeover two years ago — and with the Bay Ridge–Staten Island district mostly populated by Democrats — Fossella banked on voters’ short memories and rode a falsified anti-Bush message back to Washington, where he remains the consummate anti–abortion rights, pro-gun, pro-pork, pro–Big Oil, anti-immigration Conservative.
So now, when he needs big bucks for his latest re-election campaign, whom did Fossella call in?
None other than Vice President Dick Cheney.
There’s no surprise why Fossella reached out to the big gun for Monday’s hundreds-per-plate luncheon: While reviled by nearly three-quarters of the country, Cheney is still well liked by a Totonno’s-thin upper crust of America — many of them loyal GOP donors.
Cheney did his job, filling Fossella’s coffers, and then he left.
Fossella is hoping that voters will forget that when he needed to keep alive his hopes for a sixth term, he turned to Cheney (naturally, the campaign did not allow photographers to capture the back-slapping and glad-handing going on inside billionaire David Koch’s Upper East Side mansion. Of course not — those photos would be worth two Cheney fundraisers to Fossella’s Democratic opponents, Steve Harrison and Councilman Domenic Recchia).
Cheney departed after dessert — on the people’s airplane, Air Force 2.
Political experts told The Brooklyn Paper that Fossella risked little by having the unpopular Cheney stump for him in Manhattan’s Gucci Gulch. After all, one consultant told us, voters have short memories.
But voters have it in their power to prove that adage wrong.
This November, one factor in choosing a candidate should be remembering who his friends are.