Surely many lawmakers harbor the fantasy of holding the nation's top office, though typically they don't make that public until they are "seriously considering" running (a term almost too-widely used at this point). On Sunday, former three-term New York state governor — who has at multiple times publicly grappled with whether to run or not but then decided against it — George Pataki said he's definitely running for president, maybe.
I know, it's a little bit like a game of "Will he, won't he?" Speaking during a radio interview with Rita Cosby on WABC in New York, the Republican politician said that he's probably running, suggesting that his only obstacles were campaign finance laws that could limit his fundraising. He told Cosby, in a rather roundabout way (but not actually affirming it):
If you care about the country, it’s very hard to sit on the sideline if you believe you have the ability to run a government like this country’s government well. At this point, I am strongly inclined to do it. I think I'm closer to making that decision than I've ever been. But given the way the federal rules are structured, I'm not going to make that announcement or that decision at this time. ... If I were a betting person, I would bet that I’d make the decision to go.
Pataki was the first among potential 2016 candidates to form a super PAC, called "We The People, Not Washington" that, according to its website, aims to support New York's 53rd governor's "future agenda to empower the citizens of our great nation, dismantle the perpetual growth and overreach of the federal government and begin reducing the size of the federal government to a more appropriate level."
His schedule has been looking like that of a potential presidential candidate. Since September, Pataki has frequented important primary states, including six visits to New Hampshire. Earlier this month, he attended a Republican National Committee donor event in Boca Raton, Florida, and discussed rewriting the federal tax code at an Iowa Agriculture Summit. Pataki is also set to speak at the South Carolina Freedom Summit alongside other more prominent potential GOP candidates in May.
Despite his inclination to run in 2016, many have wondered if Pataki actually stands a chance. He has been out of the political field and the public eye for years — Pataki himself conceded that people might not know his name now — and David Freedlander at The Daily Beast reported that there seems to be a lack of enthusiasm for a Pataki presidential campaign outside of New Hampshire. Considering his former flirtations with running a presidential campaign — in 2000, 2008, and 2012, according to Freedlander — have amounted to nothing, not many are taking Pataki seriously this time, either.
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