Former New York Gov. George Pataki said Monday that would “seriously consider” a run for president in 2016.
Here’s what you need to know about Pataki’s potential run for president:
1. He Was Governor for 12 Years
In an interview with the Boston Globe after meeting with supporters in New Hampshire, Pataki acknowledged that he was “seriously considering” a run for president in 2016. His credentials for such a run stem from that fact that he “successfully ran one of the largest and most complicated governments in the country — and in a blue state,” as he told the Globe.
Pataki was a relatively popular Republican governor in solidly Democratic New York state for 12 years, first beating recently deceased Gov. Mario Cuomo by a bit more than three percentage points with 48.8 percent of the vote.
Two elections later, Pataki might have faced Mario Cuomo’s son, current New York governor and potential presidential candidate Andrew Cuomo.
2. Could the 2016 Election Be a Subway Series?
Pataki is firmly in the “very possibly running” category, and though Hillary Clinton appears to be the presumptive Democratic candidate, current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could throw his cap into the presidential ring, making the campaign a purely New York affair.
According to Patrick J. Egan, a professor of politics at New York University who spoke with The New York Daily News in October, if the Democratic Party chooses to play the numbers, it might place its bets on Cuomo.
Back in March, The Hill spoke to longtime New York state legislator Richard Brodsky, who said Cuomo was considering a run for the nation’s top office, but did not want to run against Clinton in a primary:
Brodsky said of Cuomo:
“He’s been interested in running for president for years. He has, I think grudgingly, come to the conclusion that Hillary is an insuperable obstacle if she runs.”
The New York Post, however, quoting an unnamed Democratic operative familiar with Cuomo’s plans, suggested Cuomo’s year could be 2020.
According to the operative:
“If Hillary does go down and a Republican wins — and that could certainly happen after eight years of Obama — then the Democratic field will be cleared for 2020 and Andrew can make his move.”
3. Pataki Is Considered a Moderate Republican
Libertarian think tank Cato Institute, which grades governors based on fiscal policy, gave Pataki an A in his first term but dropped that grade each consecutive term.
“Pataki declined each subsequent term as a result of abandoning his first-term commitment to lower taxes and smaller government.”
That criticism, Pataki’s continued consolidation of power of the course of his three terms in office, remain part of his legacy, New York Post Columnist Fred Dicker, writing as Pataki was leaving office, said the governor’s ideologies had shifted toward the liberal, in “a calculated effort by a selfish cynic to hold on to power at all costs.”
The New York Times, too, had a similar complaint:
“In the end, a frustrated Mr. Pataki used a court ruling to seize control over the budget — and thus most of the state’s business — from the Legislature. Mr. Pataki and his staff have so whittled away the Legislature’s budgetary powers that even those who approve of a strong governor have begun to recognize a case of overkill.”
Pataki is also known for his stance against global warming, Bloomberg Businessweek naming him among the 20 individuals commended in 2005 for efforts to combat climate change.
4. He’ll Face Hard-Core Conservatives in the Primary
Pataki, should he decide to run in 2016, faces an already crowded field of Republican candidates in the primary some well known conservative faces among them.
Reportedly considering a run are U.S. Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky, known to be an outspoken and constant critic of President Barack Obama’s policies, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Sen Ted Cruz.
5. His Wife Runs a Pro-Israel Organization
Though she focused on agriculture while her husband was in office, Libby Pataki is also known to have founded pro-Israel organization, One Jerusalem, which supports the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem.