The home state president barely warranted a mention during the state Republican Party’s convention.
Not since the administration of Teddy Roosevelt has the New York Republican Party staged a convention with one of its own in residence in the White House.
Normally that would be a matter of pride and celebration. But during their two days in Manhattan, GOP delegates put together a ticket on which three of the four statewide candidates either did not vote for Donald Trump or won’t say.
And that wasn’t the only way in which the party seemed to distance itself from its theoretical favorite son. Only two of the 40 or so people who spoke during the formal convention proceedings invoked Trump’s name. That means the Republican president of the United States received fewer shout-outs than New York Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, a fellow Republican.
Lack of support for the president may work in favor of Republican candidates in a state where a good poll for Trump finds that only two-thirds of voters in his home state dislike him.
The convention in the Ziegfeld Ballroom, an eight-minute walk from Trump Tower, began on the same day that the president made his first visit to Manhattan in five months. But neither the president nor any members of the first family made an appearance. The GOP invited Trump, but said he declined because he didn’t want to steal the spotlight.
Had he gone, there could have been some awkward interactions.
While Republican gubernatorial nominee Marc Molinaro says he would be open to working with Trump if elected, he did not vote for Trump in 2016, citing “significant differences.” He wrote in the name of Chris Gibson, the moderate Republican former congressman from the Hudson Valley.
“I’ve never been overly partisan,” Molinaro said in a statement. “What I like is people working together to achieve results. I’ll work with anyone of any party who earnestly and honestly wishes to help make life better for my constituents, in Albany, Washington, or right next door.”