Jeanine Pirro's less than graceful exit from the New York State Senate race to take on Hillary Rodham Clinton may one day haunt Governor George Pataki in his national aspirations.
It was Pataki and his allies who encouraged the high profileWestchester County district attorney to enter the race for theGOP Senate nomination.
Also, it was Pataki who tried to throw her a life preserver withan endorsement in October on the very day her campaign made public an embarrassingly thin campaign finance report.
The report showed her campaign had less than $364,000in the bank. Clinton, on the other hand, had almost $14 million.
By mid-November, it was becoming increasingly clear to Republican leaders that the Pirro campaign was collapsing.
Ten days later, New York's county GOP chairmen publicly asked her to switch races.
Democratic and Republican strategists say the Pirro developments do little to enhance Pataki's standing on the national level.
ALBANY - Since he became engrossed in a scandal at the Kentucky trade school he ran for much of this year, William Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, has been crafting a defense that other chief executives have used before.Weld, a Republican who is now running for governor in New York, said he did not know anything about what federal investigators believe was widespread student loan fraud at Louisville's Decker College.