Carl Paladino tells Long Islanders: ‘I’m doing a special mission here’

A Reporter’s Reaction:

As Carl Paladino turned to me Thursday afternoon he asked for my name, reveled in the fact that I too am an Italian American and from there proceeded to give me a hug.   I’ve never been hugged by a politician, let alone one I was about to interview.

The first time I heard Carl Paladino’s name was back in May of this year. Paladino attended a conference where he was joined on a panel of mainly republicans from across the state and one lone democrat.  He appeared to be calm and reserved – very opinionated but did not seem like a viable candidate.

Now, Carl Paladino is not only going to be on the ballot Tuesday, but he is the Republican nominee.  I spoke with Paladino this afternoon in person for a rather wide-ranging interview.  What surprised me about the candidate was not only his temperament, but also his ability to answer my questions while raising interesting points.

New York is the empire state but often the divided state.  Downstate is the money maker, the thriving arm of New York. Meanwhile, upstate has had a struggling economy, record unemployment, and often is part of the promises of most politicians that they, ‘will fix upstate New York.’

“The faces are different of all the people upstate and downstate but certainly the look on their faces is the same,” said Paladino.  As he travels on the campaign trail, he has been riding on his slogan of, “mad as hell”, but still only promises to run for one term because he “is not a politician.”

“I’m doing a special mission here, I’m one of the few people that has the qualities necessary to go in and straighten things out.  You probably notice I’m not intimidated, I’m not politically correct, I don’t want to be,” Paladino said.

He does not give any credit to the recent polls, citing multiple times during our chat, how the polls had him down before primary day, and yet he won the vote. Paladino’s confidence isn’t shattered and in no way is he giving up; with a full schedule ahead of him in the few days leading up to election night.  “For sure, we are going to win,” said Paladino.