Gloved One Wins Debate; Cuomo, Paladino Get a Pass

The results are in and the hands-covered candidate was the hands-down winner of last night's Theatre-of-the-Absurd gubernatorial debate.

At first you wondered if Jimmy McMillan, with his magnificent Chester A. Arthur muttonchops and Colonel Sanders goatee, was wearing black gloves as a kind of homage to the departed Gloved One, Michael Jackson. But post-debate, the ex-mail man candidate of the Rent is Too Damn High Party explained that a psychological malady incurred from Agent Orange while he served in Vietnam made them a necessary part of his wardrobe. Which explains it.

McMillan gets credit for hammering away at his core message all night: "That is it. End of subject. Nothing else to be talked about: Rent is too damn high." He even slipped it into his answer when asked about gay marriage. "Rent Too Damn High Party feels if you wanna marry a shoe, I'll marry it," he said. End of story. End of debate.

Okay, as for the serious political analysis, we'll stipulate that last night's debate was not exactly a healthy exercise in democracy.

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With five long-shot candidates crowding the stage, neither of the two men who actually stand a chance of winning had to answer a single tough question. We did get a small window into another side of Carl Paladino, who seemed flustered from the moment he opened his mouth. The Buffalo bulldog often flubbed his words, and seemed to flail about in desperate search of a sentence he could complete.

Andrew Cuomo, the presumptive winner judging by both polls and endorsements (the New York Post's came in on Monday), never had to break a sweat. Had it been just him and wildman Paladino up there, we might have been able to get a few answers about his approach to governing, like the one posed in yesterday's Albany Times-Union by Jimmy Vielkind about Cuomo's mysteriously ever-disappearing official schedules:

"Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office did not keep a 'systematized' schedule for the first two years he was in office, a spokesman said. Instead, the attorney general's staff showed his activities with a compilation of news conferences and public events in response to a Times Union request for his schedules filed in April. Six months later, a schedule for nine months of meetings in 2009 had been generated and provided, but original documents -- even redacted versions, as allowed under the law -- were withheld."

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