Written April 2, 2012     

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Should this guy withdraw as a candidate?

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© 2016 Bob Lonsberry


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It’s time for Matt Doheny to go away.

He’s the wannabe Republican congressman from the North Country who turned up last week in some compromising pictures.

On Thursday it was some online scandal-sheet photos that showed him snuggled up to a campaign consultant engaged in what looked a lot like a kiss.

A day later it was some video on the “New York Post” website that seemed to show him doggedly groping the same campaign consultant’s backside.

And staggering.

On a public street in downtown Washington, D.C.

Like I said, it’s time for him to go away.

The state that gave us Elliott Spitzer, Eric Massa and Chris Lee has decided it’s somebody else’s turn.

Don’t get me wrong. Most of us don’t care about other people’s personal lives. Ultimately, who Matt Doheny does or doesn’t pussy foot around with is between him, his fiancé and his God. We don’t want to throw the first stone, we don’t want to be prudes, we don’t want to peek into bedroom windows.

But we don’t want to be embarrassed either.

And we don’t want to turn over the governance of our nation to a man who can’t even manage his personal life.

And if you’re in a public place, swaying in the breeze, copping a cheap feel on a woman who doesn’t seem to be too thrilled by the experience, you can’t manage your personal life.

And that’s a problem.

A problem the Republican Party may be trying to jettison.

Yes, the Republican Party. These photos are a political dirty trick, but it may not be safe to presume that they are a Democratic dirty trick.

Before I explain why, some background.

The photos in question were taken while Matt Doheny and about a dozen other Republican prospects were in Washington for a candidates’ boot camp. Promising congressional wannabes were brought to town to be shown the ropes of running for office.

It’s a pretty useful exercise as the nuts and bolts of how to run a campaign are explained by people who do it for a living. Being selected for the workshop is something of an honor, an indication that the national Republican Party believes that a candidate – or his district – is a good prospect for victory.

Matt Doheny has run before, and narrowly lost a three-way contest to Democrat Bill Owens. Owens is a useless liberal representing a district that, especially after redistricting, is far too conservative for him.

In other words, this district should switch parties. The people are Republican, and so should the congressman be.

Which would seem to hand the race to Matt Doheny on a silver platter.

Which gets back to the candidates boot camp.

Apparently, in the evening after a day’s session, a group of participants went out for dinner and drinks. Reportedly, they went to a place popular with reporters and politicians. It was there, outside at some tables, that the photos of Doheny possibly kissing the campaign consultant were taken. It is also presumably there that, apparently at the end of the night, the video was taken that shows Matt Doheny’s fondness for the consultant’s right buttock.

Now, the nature of the photos is worth noting. Both the still and video images are taken from a low angle, as if the camera is hidden in a purse or brief case on the ground or in someone’s hand. The images also seem to have been taken fairly close at hand.

Presumably, the camera was placed or held by someone Matt Doheny and the others felt comfortable with, possibly even by a member of their own group.

In Matt Doheny’s defense, it is likely that both the still and video images were taken by the same camera. The fact the supposed kissing picture was leaked as a still might mean that the video of that incident is less sinister.

But if the images are generally accurate, if there was atypical physical contact that night, if the swaying in the video is something other than camera movement, then there could be a problem with Matt Doheny’s behavior.

And that would raise a red flag for the party. Because these workshops were not only a privilege, they were an audition. And if you come to town as a candidate and act the fool, what are you going to do with your ego puffed up by a successful election?

If the party can’t trust your discretion as a candidate, how can it trust you as a congressman?

That’s part of why I think it’s the Republicans trying to bring him down.

The other part is timing.

If it was Democrats who had that video, the smartest time for them to release it would be the middle of October.

Let the election get close, drop the bomb, and reap the benefits.

Actually, from the Democrat standpoint, leaking the pictures in March is the worst possible time. It damages Matt Doheny, but it allows the Republicans to replace him on the ballot and run a complete campaign with an alternate candidate.

Which makes me think it was the Republicans.

The Republican Party has not yet designated a candidate. If Matt Doheny is damaged by these photos, some other North Country Republican can run the race – and probably win.

The GOP gets the seat, but not the seat grabber.

My theory is that the Republican Party wants to win, but it doesn’t want to get stuck with Matt Doheny.

And these photos are an effort to keep that from happening.

It’s time for Matt Doheny to go away.

For acting the fool in public.

And for losing the confidence of his party.

- by Bob Lonsberry © 2012

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