While most of us were preparing to spend time with family and friends and gorge ourselves on wondrous foodstuffs and televised sporting events, Doug Hoffman was busy laying the groundwork for a political comeback.
In Wednesday's edition of the Polling and Political Wrap, I pointed out that CQ was reporting that Hoffman was eyeing a return engagement in 2010 against newly elected Democratic Congressman Bill Owens, and would probably run this time around as a Republican.
Hoffman himself affirmed that in a message on his campaign website this week, and as TPMDC reports, Hoffman's Ripkenesque streak of jaw-dropping commentary is still intact:
Hoffman laid out his reasons for deciding take on Rep. Bill Owens (D) so soon after he conceded to the freshman Representative for the second time. In short, Hoffman suggests again that the Nov. 3 special election was rigged in Owens' favor -- and then immediately apologizes to elections officials for offending them with the claim.
Indeed, after once again raising the questions about changes in the vote tally and potential "ghosts in the machine" with some of the county tabulation software, Hoffman tells a bald-faced lie in an attempt to make himself appear more conciliatory about the whole process.
HOFFMAN: I would also like to commend those election commission officials who worked tirelessly and may have taken offense to an unfortunate and poorly worded fundraising email that was sent out toward the end of our campaign. As we tried to make sense of the false vote counts and stories of so/ftware viruses in the voting machines, we never intended to imply the election commissioners had somehow acted improperly. This was never our intention and, on the contrary, the election commissioners went above and beyond to uphold their duty to ensure a fair election took place.
This, of course, is a lie. The flamethrower of an email in question directly questioned the integrity of the election officers, and indeed suggested a conspiracy was afoot. Let's revisit the email in question, taking a trip down Memory Lane in order to expose Hoffman's blatant attempt to rewrite history:
Oswego County elections officials blame the mistakes on "chaos" in their call-in center that included a phone system foul-up, and on inspectors who read numbers incorrectly when phoning in results. This sounds like a tactic right from the ACORN playbook.
Gee, Doug, it's hard to imagine why anyone would dare to suggest that you might be hinting at the fact that election officers acted improperly.
The headline "Stop Another Stolen Election!" might have been a bit of a tip-off, as well.
If one thing has been evident since Republican John McHugh agreed to sign on as Secretary of the Army and set this electoral process in motion, it is that Doug Hoffman is clearly not ready for prime time. That was evident in his classless taunting of DeDe Scozzafava as she was forced out of the race by her own party. It became more evident on Election Day, when he blamed ACORN for a blown tire on a volunteer's car (later sleuthing revealed the culprit was a broken bottle). In the post-election process, he has only embarrassed himself further, most starkly of all with an email that even he now concedes was "unfortunate and poorly worded".
This is one of those rare occasions where it is possible that a high-profile 2010 candidate announcing his intentions might actually be good news for the incumbent.