Gail Collins on Yet Another Weird Day With Paladino

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New York Times columnist Gail Collins returned to the Leonard Lopate Show this week for the latest edition of “How did politics in America get so weird?” If crazy were a crop, it would be a bumper year across the political spectrum. In fact, there was so much to talk about this week that Christine O’Donnell didn’t come up once—something Collins described as “a good thing.”

Carl Paladino dominated much of the discussion again this week, this time for his controversial comments on gay people to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group, which he has since apologized for. Paladino may be a political novice who was not known by most New Yorkers before the Republican primary, but according to Collins, “now our entire lives are now determined by Carl Paladino’s craziest things of the day.”

And Collins pointed out that there are a lot of crazy things going on beyond the content of Paladino’s remarks, most notably how the controversial speech was handled by his staff.

This guy’s campaign is completely irrational. You don’t do any of those things. You don’t give a speech to a group with reporters there and not expect it to be reported on. You don’t let people you are coming to visit put things into your speech. You don’t have things in your speech you haven’t read. It just goes on and on and on.

The Orthodox Jewish group has since pulled their support of Paladino—because he apologized.

Both Paladino and Andrew Cuomo exchanged barbs about whether it was appropriate to attend a gay pride parade with your children (Palidino said it wasn’t advisable because of men “grinding” in skimpy outfits). It eventually sunk to the level of each candidate questioning who was a better father, something that surprised Collins.

We have gotten to so many points in this particular campaign that I thought would never hear in a major election. You don’t say somebody is not a good father unless they’ve been arrested or something. You just don’t do this stuff.

Could this entire episode be Paladino’s macaca moment? “This is the quadruple macaca. We are so far beyond the macaca moment with Carl Paladino.” Collins said.

Gail Collins returns to the show next week!