Trump's Empire State Roots Give NY Republicans Extra Reason to Celebrate
With inauguration festivities already underway, Donald Trump's deep roots in the Empire State are giving New York Republicans an extra reason to celebrate. Josh Robin filed the following report.
It is an exciting time for this crowd, who feel they've scored a hat trick: A New York state native in the White House for the first time since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Oh, and extra sweet: to get there, Donald Trump beat New York transplant Hillary Clinton.
"Our new president! I don't know if I'm going to get tired of saying that. That's pretty cool stuff, right?" said state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.
Back in New York City, that's not the phrase many would use. His inauguration distresses much of the liberal city, to put it mildly.
What do Republican New Yorkers say to that?
"I think they need to buck up, but I think that they're going to be surprised," said Chele Farley, a Trump supporter.
"I see Donald Trump as someone who will surprise a lot of people," said Republican public relations consultant Lisa Linden.
Linden was a top aide to politicians considered Republican moderates, Manhattan state Senator Roy Goodman and Connecticut Senator Lowell Weicker.
"I think that he will come out and be very practical and look to unify the country and do great things in New York state as well," she said.
Another prominent ally, Carl Paladino, says Trump's message already worked better than anyone expected.
"He beat the Democrats. He beat the press. He beat everybody. And he beat them to a pulp," Paladino said. "And who sponsored him, who got on the bus? Your everyday Joe."
Paladino was Trump's state co-chair.
He recently drew widespread condemnation, including a scolding from Trump. Paladino told a Buffalo publication his hopes were for Michelle Obama this year are, to "return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe" and for President Obama to die of Mad Cow disease.
He says he comments were sent in error. And there appear to be no additional repercussions from trump.
When asked where he was sitting tomorrow, Paladino said, "Oh yeah, we're in number 11. Yeah we are. It will be good."
With their White House mission complete, New York Republicans are now turning to two other tasks: retaking City Hall in November and the governor's mansion in 2018. It may seem farfetched now but, the GOP may argue, so did the prospect of President Donald Trump.