We’ve reported previously that the May court-ordered redistricting maps for New York sent some of the state’s most prominent Democrats into a tailspin. The redrawn House district forced some longtime Democrats to make difficult decisions about which of their co-challenges to be challenged in the primary.
While there were many allegations of racism and calls for resignations in the immediate aftermath of the incident, the race between Reps. Carolyn Maloney (over 70) and Jerry Nadler (both of whom have been in Congress since the early 1990s and hold strong leadership positions in Congress) have been undoubtedly the most contentious.
Both are now vying to win the newly drawn 12th Congressional District. To say that things have gotten tense would be an understatement. Nadler called Maloney “cowardly”, referring to her past stances, while Maloney declared Nadler “senile” earlier this week.
On Monday, the day before Primary Day in New York, things got even more ugly when it was revealed that Maloney not only called Nadler “senile”, but also claimed that he was “half dead”. Her daughter then physically intervened, with her hands flailing between Maloney and the reporter to stop him from asking further questions. Maloney was then able to get into a waiting vehicle.
CNN’s reporter followed her to the Upper West Side campaign stop to inquire about her comments. She ran down the street to the waiting car while one of her daughters positioned herself repeatedly with her legs and hands out to block further questions.
Maloney waved goodbye and closed the car door when she was asked why Nadler was “half dead”. She had just finished her last campaign stop before the primary and closed the car door to another reporter who asked if Nadler was senile.
Meanwhile, Nadler’s allies have whispered reminders of Maloney’s long history with odd remarks and demeanors, which range from being called kooky or not entirely sober. Maloney’s spokeswoman did not answer questions regarding those comments.
There have been questions about Nadler’s health for a long time. They grew louder after an event in 2019, where Nadler briefly fell asleep and became disoriented. Bill de Blasio, then-mayor of New York City, offered him something to drink. Nadler later claimed that he didn’t pass out, but that the room was too warm and dehydrated.
Things could get very interesting if Suraj Patel, an Obama administration alum, wins the election. This is a possibility that Nadler worries about, regardless of his feelings towards Maloney.
At least one major committee chair — House Judiciary or House Oversight — is going to lose tonight. Nadler told me NY losing two would be “catastrophic.”
“Any freshman, no matter how good,” he said, “won’t have the ability to bring back as much as a senior member.”
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) August 23, 2022
While I don’t have a dog in this fight, it is fascinating to me that entrenched politicians speak loudly about their fear of losing power.
New York polls close at 9 PM ET. We will update you with the results as soon as they are available. Keep your feet on the ground!