George Pataki Oddly Close to Running for President

If you were a former three-term governor of New York and had dealt with all of Albany's crap for 12 years, wouldn't you hate politics and life so much that you'd want to go fishing or golfing or part-time corporate lobbying all the time, alone, while anxiously awaiting your death that just can't come soon enough? Yeah, you would! But if you're George Pataki, you apparently want to run for president. Hmm.

Pataki has been making noises regularly about running for several years, and no one has ever cared. But now we have various reports that he's super close to doing that exact thing. NY1 gets confirmation from a spokesman that Pataki —who "was recently spotted watching the last Republican presidential debate at a bar in Chelsea" — is "strongly considering entering the crowded race for the Republican presidential nomination" as early as next week. Try to keep your pants on, dear readers!

The Daily News hears similar gossip from insider people who nevertheless don't understand why Pataki is doing this dumb thing:

Those close to the three-term former governor said he was expected to enter the race for President, though no date has been set.

Yet those who served in Albany during Pataki's tenure said the 66-year-old potential candidate was out of step with the anti-government, anti-spending, socially conservative GOP of 2011.

The problem wouldn't be that he's not "conservative" enough. Rick Perry's entrance into the race closed off that side of the spectrum. There's no more room for screamy red-meat tricornered Tea Party jagoffs to enter at this point. The only bookable room left is for a center-righty or two. That's why you see Jon Huntsman finally wising up and beginning to act like the moderate that he is, and why Rudy Giuliani (ugh) is still considering running around New Hampshire for a few months mouthing off about how he was in New York City getting in everyone's way on 9/11, again.

The problem is that it's George Pataki, whom no one remembers or cares about.

[Image via AP]