Less than 24 hours after winning his first election, Carl “Angry Man” Paladino sat down in a TV studio to prove that just because he’s now the official Republican standard-bearer for governor doesn’t mean he’s going to put a cork in it.
Paladino sat somewhere in Buffalo while NY1’s Elizabeth Kaledin did her best to bring him down to earth from the station’s Chelsea studios. The best lines come near the end of the 15-minute sit-down when Kaledin broaches the all-important sanity question:
Kaledin: You’ve been called a maverick, you’ve been called…Some people have said you’re crazy Carl…
Angry Man: I am a man of conviction. I am not a chameleon…
That non-denial was followed by this description of the 273,000 voters that gave him a landslide victory over his buttoned-down, ex-banking lobbyist rival, Rick Lazio:
Angry Man: “Who do you think these people are who voted for us yesterday? You think they just crawled out of a space ship?”
Then there was the moment when Paladino took his baseball bat (see below) to ex-senator and GOP stalwart Alfonse D’Amato:
Kaledin: “Some people said you’re unfit to be governor. Does this hurt you at all?”
Angry: “Oh, wait a minute, was that Ed Koch? Or was that AL DEE-Amato again? (Angry man get a big shit-eating grin at this point). Oh, AL DEE-Amato, the two-faced one, right? ‘Oh, I’m a Republican. Oh, but I’m supporting Andrew Cuomo. Wait, wait, wait, no, I’m supporting both Lazio and Cuomo.’ Is that the Al D’Amato you’re talking about? C’mon. C’mon. The Al D’Amato has evolved (Angry now starts rubbing his thumb and fingers together, forming universal symbol for filthy lucre) into everything that’s green. That’s all he’s about.”
Earlier in the interview, Angry Man said he’s not angry, he’s intense:
“It’s not necessarily anger, it’s an intensity. I am speaking out for a lot of New Yorkers and they are aggravated.”
He also echoed his 10 percent tax cut and 20 percent budget cut campaign vows. How’s he gonna do that, asked Kaledin.
Angry Man: “We are going to take out entire agencies, we are going to take out entire department and divisions of agencies. Government for the sake of government will end.”
And he kept up his attack on the Speaker of the Assembly, about whom he’s agreed just might be the “Anti-Christ”:
Angry Man: “Sheldon Silver runs our government. You know it, and I know it. Why? Is he a benevolent dictator. He’s about everything that is wrong in our government…Sheldon Silver makes Bruno look like a choir boy when it comes to the friends and family and the pay to play culture.”
As for that baseball bat, Angry Man talks about bringing to Albany, he softened that one a little for us sappy down-staters:
“The baseball bat is the people. We are going to shine a light on the rodents, and you know what happens when you shine a light on rodents, don’t you? This isn’t a tweak job. We are not going down there to tweak things.”
Might people feel threatened by such talk? You betcha, answered Angry Man.
“They should be threatened. Absolutely. I want them to be threatened. The people are going to speak…The people are going to vote for Carl Paladino. The people will look at my essence [italics added for Angry Man emphasis].”
The great part is that we are going to get almost 90 more days of this: “I am what I am,” vowed Angry Man. “I’m here. This is me. Accept me for what I am.”
The interview ends with clearly rattled techs rushing in to take off Angry Man’s mic while he’s still snarling at the camera. Fade to black.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 16, 2010