Doug Hoffman is at it again.
He wrote an editorial in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise expounding on his conservative principles, raising a few eyebrows among media types who are trying to divine his intentions.
It's pretty standard Hoffman fare: "Remember, the solution is not to tax Americans more; the problem is that our government spends too much!"
But in the context of the tea-leaf-readers, it prompts us to ask: What does it mean in the context of the 23rd Congressional race?
Mr. Hoffman came tantalizingly close to winning a seat in Congress on the Conservative line in 2009; he came tantalizingly close to winning the Republican nomination (Republican Matt Doheny won it, and then lost the general to Democratic Rep. Bill Owens) in 2010.
Is he going to run? He's playing it close to the vest; even his closest supporters do not know. This editorial could prompt some to speculate that he will, though I still think it's a very remote possibility.
In its morning roundup, the State of Politics blog asks whether Mr. Hoffman is the "Once – and future? – NY-23 House candidate." TV's John Moore also did some speculating last time Mr. Hoffman wrote an editorial, in September's Watertown Times.
But Mr. Hoffman hasn't done any fundraising and hasn't been hitting up any GOP fundraisers that I'm aware of; he did not attend a GOP fundraiser this fall in Harrietstown, where he owns a home.
Ray Scollin, an up-and-coming GOPer there, told me that Mr. Hoffman had a prior engagement, and sent his regrets.
Loyalists are still legion, and if Mr. Hoffman decides to run again, plenty of people will back him up. Most non-affiliated folks I talk to are resoundingly perplexed about what he'll do.
But here are his challenges. Mr. Hoffman has told me he wants to see where the district lines end up — basically, he won't run if he's in the same district as Rep. Chris Gibson, but if it's someone else, maybe, just maybe...
That means that early next year, he'll start from zero on fundraising, getting his organization together, talking to party leaders, getting prepared to collect petitions — all those fun things that Mr. Doheny is going balls to the wall on. The election is in November. Sure, Mr. Hoffman has plenty of name recognition and hordes of followers who will follow him to the end of the Earth, but is that enough to make up for the abbreviated calendar of roughly nine of 10 months?
Indeed, only time will tell. If only he'd write an editorial about that, and not taxes.