GOP Governor Hopeful Carl Paladino's Rants Are Really A Shoutout To Mad Middle Class

Carl Paladino talks so much and in such a loud, cheap-seat voice you get the idea sometimes he's running for governor of the New York Jets, not New York State. Paladino comes from upstate, and so do I. Maybe that is why he has seemed so familiar from the start, reminding me of guys I used to hear at the Elks lodge in Oneida when I was a kid, the ones my uncles were always telling to pipe down, they were trying to play cards here. Like him or not, Paladino has become the kind of candidate at this time in the state and the country you underestimate at your own peril, as lightweight Rick Lazio found out the hard way in the Republican primary. Paladino gave Lazio such a beatdown you imagined Lazio being taken off the field on one of those carts used for injured football players. "You've got a guy here's who's rough around the edges and loud," Curt Smith was saying. "But guess what? The people he's talking to - and that means an angry middle class - are saying he sounds pretty good to them. He's talking to people who feel their government has betrayed them.