Suffolk Executive Steve Levy, brand-new candidate for governor, stood on a platform in Battery Park and read from his prepared text after the thank-yous.
Unfortunately for him he also perked up some ears when he read out loud -- and didn’t bother to change from earlier in the day -- the part that said:
“No state in the union has excaped the pinch of the national recession. But HERE IN ALBANY, an alarming lack of leadership and resolve has brought us to the brink of financial insolvency...”
The idea was to have the Statue of Liberty in the backdrop. Unfortunately, some TV crews complained, the sun was by mid-afternoon shining straight into their lenses, while the looking-up angle from which he had to be photographed made it hard for them to work the famous copper lady with the torch into the frame.
Later, wanted to come off the podium to answer questions but was told no, he has to stay with the microphone on the platform. “That’s fine with me,” he said. He remained surrounded by Republican and Conservative supporters.
A few seconds delay before someone offered a question, and he said: “Wow! I filibustered. You see that?”
For some reason, a guy in a clown outfit found his way to the edge of the park where Levy made the announcement. As the candidate dismounted the stage, he asked to take a photo with Levy. Levy agreed -- long as he didn't have to wear the red nose -- and made a self-deprecating comment about his own nose being bigger. Cops pushed the clown back away from the stage, but Levy invited him to come into the adjacent restaurant and take a photo with him.
For all the maybe-rough edges, Levy did what he came to do: He stayed firmly and pleasantly "on message" through the q and a, repeating in dozens of ways that he had the experience and the plan to save the state from fiscal disaster.