Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., speaks during a radio talk show in Albany, N.Y., Friday, Jan. 16, 2009. Maloney is in Albany meeting with top Democrats and reporters days before Gov. David Paterson is expected to choose a successor for Sen. Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
After all the drama leading up to the Maloney-Saujani debate, it turned out the highlights happened off-air.
Both the Maloney and Saujani campaigns were trying to recover from missteps by their candidates after their first and only Democratic primary debate this morning.
The Maloney campaign appeared to be doing everything possible to avoid calling attention to the debate. First, her campaign refused to allow video cameras (including ours) to shoot the radio exchange on WWRL. After being cornered by NBCNewYork on the elevator, Maloney said it wasn't her decision not to allow videotaping.
But the radio station and the Saujani campaign tell us the Maloney campaign had called video cameras in the studio "a dealbreaker" while planning the debate. Maloney's staff offered no explanation when asked about the decision to shut out cameras.
After the debate, the Congresswoman refused to stop for questions from reporters, turning her back and trying to ignore multiple questions while walking out of the studio.
Maloney campaign aides tried to keep me and my photographer off the elevator but we and several other reporters managed to board after some words were exchanged.
Then, during an awkward moment of silence, Maloney tried to change the subject by asking pregnant Politico reporter Maggie Haberman questions about her due date. Then she took off and tried to hail a cab.
Saujani had a rough moment of her own, when questioned whether she would vote for Maloney in November, if she loses the September 14th primary.
After a couple attempts to dodge the question, Saujani said she might not vote at all.
Saujani's spokesman quickly corrected his candidate in an email issued less than an hour later. "Reshma will vote a straight Democratic ticket on November 2nd no matter the outcome of the primary," James Allen said.