What a difference a month makes

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A MONTH MAKES…. Within a few hours of Dede Scozzafava suspending her campaign in New York’s 23rd, the Republican National Committee announced that it just loves Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman after all.

“Effective immediately, the R.N.C. will endorse and support the Conservative candidate in the race, Doug Hoffman,” Michael Steele said. “Doug’s campaign will receive the financial backing of the R.N.C. and get-out-the-vote efforts to defeat Bill Owens on Tuesday.”

Around the same time, the House Republican leadership — Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and NRCC Chair Pete Sessions (R-Texas) — also announced their endorsement for the candidate who’d forced the Republican nominee from the race.

Eric Kleefeld reminds us that “it’s fun to remember that the Republicans didn’t always feel so fondly about Hoffman.”

As The Hill reported a month ago, NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay said that Scozzafava was the right candidate, who was picked by the local party leaders and had an appeal to the district’s voters.

As for Lindsay’s view of Hoffman, who had also interviewed with party leaders for the nomination: “Fortunately, the local Republican county chairs had the foresight to see that Doug Hoffman lacked the integrity and qualities needed to be elected to anything — let alone Congress.”

That’s a pretty damning quote. Indeed, there are only three days left before voters head to the polls, but I suspect Democrats will be reminding locals that the National Republican Congressional Committee, just a month ago, believed Doug Hoffman “lacked the integrity and qualities needed to be elected to anything.”

What’s more, less than a month ago, the NRCC was glad local Republican Party leaders “had the foresight to not even consider Hoffman among the final three candidates.” The party’s campaign committee called Hoffman’s advertising “misleading,” dismissed his “Washington-based endorsements,” and reminded voters that Hoffman doesn’t even technically live in the district.

And now the NRCC not only wants locals to support Hoffman, but will claim victory if he wins on Tuesday. The phrase “lacking integrity” is tough to get around.