11/02/2010 11:09 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Final Thought on Carl Paladino: Thanks for Nothing

As the sun sinks on Carl Paladino's political career, say goodbye to one of the worst candidates for major office in the history of New York politics. Farewell, Carl. We will not see your like again. Let's hope.

Good grief, what an awful race. New York is in terrible straits. The budget is totally out of whack. The state and cities are facing unfunded obligations to their retirees, particularly when it comes to health care, that's going to create a dandy constitutional crisis right around the corner.

And we spent the fall debating what? Whether Kirsten Gillibrand is "Chuck Schumer's little girl?" Whether Andrew Cuomo committed adultery? It's not that Paladino didn't try in a general, vague, useless way to talk about the state's financial problems. It's just that he didn't have the discipline to avoid the obvious pitfalls that ruin an out-of-control campaign before it ever gets started.

Paladino ran as the candidate of the disenfranchised upstate voter, and all he did was to demonstrate to downstate voters how much state money has been wasted on useless economic development programs to benefit upstate businessmen like ... Carl Paladino.

New Yorkers who have never been north of Yonkers, whose vision of upstate New York was previously just apples and lakes and the Buffalo Bills, now look beyond Albany and see the face of an irritable, mean-tempered real estate developer.

The polls closed in New York at 9 p.m. By 9:02 Andrew Cuomo had been declared the governor-elect on CNN, after having run a campaign that involved approximately as much effort as waving to a crowd. We'll have four years to talk about him.

But this was Carl Paladino's last night. Farewell Carl. Thanks for nothing.