Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Thursday, March 23, 2006

In the early handicapping for NY Attorney General the attention seems to be focusing on the downstate contenders-- Mark Green heard there was an opening, so he's running; and Andy Cuomo is thought to be the frontrunner. I was pleased, therefore, to see that Denise O'Donnell has an ad appearing in the on-line version of the New York Observer (next to Ron Rosenbaum's column-- exquisite placement). I have every reason to think that she'd be terrific in the job. It's funny-- the AG is popularly viewed as a prosecutor, and of course the job does contain that dimension, but it is really more than that, and the office itself depends more on the administrative and leadership abilities of the person holding it than on any other single quality. The people who have been good at it, in my time, have been interested mostly in being good Attorney Generals, rather than in using the post as a steppingstone to some other office. I like Spitzer, and I think he has a good team, but I am less impressed with the job he has done than I was with Bob Abrams, for example. I doubt that O'Donnell harbors any secret fantasies about being governor or President, and she has solid experience running an office that resembles the office she is running for. It seems like the timing may be right-- the boys that are running so that they will have a state-wide bully pulpit for the next job that opens up (like, for example, a certain Senate seat that may become available) might beat themselves up and allow a candidate from the second largest city in the state to sneak in.

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