Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
Erie County Executive Chris Collins was considered a rising star in New York Republican politics, talked up as a potential candidate for governor next year. Note the emphasis on the word "was."
Collins committed a major gaffe at a fundraising dinner last weekend, "joking" about New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver being "an anti-Christ."
The county executive referred to French seer Nostradamus' prediction that the world would experience three Antichrists in conjunction with the Apocalypse, whose origin is the New Testament's Book of Revelation.
Collins then said it's generally accepted that the first was Napoleon, the second Hitler, and that he was "pretty sure" the third is Silver, an orthodox Jew from Manhattan.
Comparing Jewish politicians to Hitler turns out not to be a smart move in New York politics. Collins has apologized but the state's chattering class, including Republicans, has sounded pretty unforgiving.
It's always fascinating to me how certain politicians gain buzz as potential stars but then fizzle out the minute the spotlight is turned on them. You wonder why and how they gained cachet in the first place.
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