The poster primary is an increasingly key metric in political races, as witness Obama’s iconic “Hope” banner in 2008. In the New York gubernatorial race, so far the clear poster edge goes to Carl Paladino’s madcap crew whose “we’ll-do-and-say-anything” approach to politics lends itself well to the graphic arts.
Their lead-off entry this week is a Super Mario knock-off (meant to invoke dad Mario for those ancient enough to recall the former three-term gov), with Andrew Cuomo’s face on the fist-waving, overalls-wearing cartoon figure, captioned “Andrew Has Been Playing the Albany Game for 30 Years.” This follows last week’s Cuomo in the shower shot: “Clean Up Albany? Start With Cuomo.” There’s also the “Why Won’t Cuomo Debate Carl” poster that shows Paladino’s pit bull Duke looming over “Andrew Cuomo’s Chihuahua Fifi.” Cuomo doesn’t have a Chihuahua, let alone one named Fifi. But that’s about par for the accuracy average in the Paladino campaign where facts run a poor second to impact.
Another limited-edition entry was a spoof on the new movie posters for “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” featuring now former candidate Rick Lazio in place of Shia LaBeouf next to Conservative Party boss Mike Long as the stand-in for Michael Douglas. Neatly fitted atop the title was an even more remote insider joke for the production credit: “An Alfonse D’Amato Film”
The one back-fire was Paladino’s post-primary poster that boasted pix of Paladino alongside Grover Cleveland, noting that the last governor from Buffalo went on to become President. As the Times‘s Clyde Haberman noted, the two men had something else in common: Both had children out of wedlock.