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Yes, Saujani was clobbered, and by a four-to-one margin, which is surprising considering all the cash she collected. The margin was probably distorted by the fact that her voters were younger, newer to New York, less ideologically liberal (on economics, at least), and decidedly less partisan: folks who do not turn out in force during quiet primary elections. But her base is growing, and while Maloney’s supporters may still lord over Democratic primaries, they are beginning to recede in the general population of Manhattan’s East Side just as the liberal Republican WASPs died out a generation before. In that regard, Saujani might be the “political entrepreneur” who took electoral risks that will yield dividends in the future. Furthermore, she convinced young, affluent, and influential Silk Stocking voters to agree that “sometimes the government shouldn’t just do anything.”
Notably, Saujani attraced supported from hip hop mogul Russell Simmons and Nate Westheimer, the man who filled that NYU auditorium with young entrepreneurs for the New York Tech MeetUp. The New York Observer tapped Westheimer as one of “The Insurgents of 2010,” for his efforts to spur investment in New York’s burgeoning tech sector.
Westheimer reminded the crowd that no other candidate felt it worth their time one week out from primary day to address this group of New York City entrepreneurs. Westheimer told me, via email, that he was making a rare electoral endorsement because “Reshma is different because she came to the table agenda-less, except the agenda to advance New York's technology sector,” and that agenda includes sometimes getting government out of the way of innovation.
Saujani has vowed to run again, maybe when New York’s tech sector has begun to blossom and its East Side electorate is ready for her message. Her upstart campaign looks like it may have been ahead of the game, and could be the starting point for those skyscraper dwellers and hedge fund traders on a road to electoral redemption, Ayn Rand-style.
John Vaught LaBeaume is a Washington Examiner Blogs contributor and co-editor of ElectionDissection.com.