MRS. CARL PALADINO'S FORCED SELF-HUMILIATION TOUR
You may already know that Carl Paladino's wife told a New York Post reporter the story of how her husband told her he'd fathered a child by another woman -- as well as the chilling story of how she came to go public. Joe Coscarelli of The Village Voice sums it up better than I could:
Cathy Paladino is Drinking the Carl Kool-Aid
The cover of Sunday's New York Post puts it right out there when it comes to Carl Paladino's marriage: "It was just about a year ago, hours after the death of her son in a car crash, that Cathy Paladino's husband told her he was the father of a 10-year-old girl with another woman -- and that all their children and most of their friends already knew." And that's just the first sentence.
... It's clear that Carl's campaign all but forced her to agree to a sit-down with the tabloid. "They had three words for me: 'Get over it,'" she says of resisting a public presence. This is glaringly tragic stuff....
But she didn't just talk to the Post about this, clearly under duress. She also did her duty abasing herself before The New York Times, which had the decency to run the story in the Saturday paper and on the inside pages, rather than as a Sunday lead story. It's the same appalling tale:
Cathy Paladino stroked the arm of the couch she was sitting on in her husband's campaign headquarters, first in small circles, then larger ones, as if to assure the couch that both she and it would get through this just fine.
She was talking about her husband's affair, a subject she was ready, if not eager, to address. Since her husband, Carl, won the Republican nomination for governor of New York last week, the only story in the race as compelling as his upset victory has been their personal back story: that her husband not only had an affair, not only fathered a child with that other woman, but also told his wife of 40 years about it all the same week that their 29-year-old son, Patrick, was killed in a car accident. He pulled her aside, Ms. Paladino said, as she was looking for family photographs to bring to the wake.
"He said he was very sorry to cause me pain, the relationship with the mother was over ... and there was a child," she said.
At the word "child," Ms. Paladino, 63, leaned back slightly, absorbing, once again, this news....
And there's the same sense that she was forced to do this:
Once she had told her husband she supported his decision to run, some members of his campaign staff told her that if she had any reservations about talking about her personal life, she had to get over them. And so she did.
The Post story makes it sound like a really creepy marriage:
Still, she defers to him on most issues.
"My circle is much closer to home with my family and things like that," she said. "And he's out there, talking to people. He's out there.
"People bring him a lot of information."
She paused. "Sometimes, I don't know if that's always a good thing. When you just know too much."
She deferred to his decision to run. She deferred to his decision that she be forced to come clean to two big-city papers. She deferred when he went on a vacation to Italy accompanied not just by his love child, but by her mother.
And then there's this line about Carl Paladino from the Post story:
She said he is no longer the same man she met over 40 years ago, that now he is "tougher, very particular about everything."
Yeah, I bet. And I bet that's putting it mildly.
All this makes me squirm. I suspected Carl Paladino was a bad human being. Now I'm sure of it.