Carl Paladino, the Republican former gubernatorial candidate and Buffalo businessman, was in Albany today for the large gun-rights rally at the west Capitol park, but he was keeping a far lower profile than the one several weeks earlier.

Paladino was so well hidden in the crowd, wearing a baseball cap and winter overcoat that I walked right by him until he got my attention by tapping me on the shoulder.

His review today’s event?

“Friggin’ awesome,” he said. “It’s really good. This is what the message is about here. These people coming here on their day off from their work, because they’re all working men, they’re all taxpayers, they’re all heart and soul New Yorkers. It’s just an awesome experience.”

Paladino said Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems “virtually” unbeatable in 2014 given the Democratic majority in the state and because of he is giving people “ice cream” — which I’m assuming is a metaphor.

“It’s not that he can’t win in 2014 because he’s got so many, so many, people that he feeds ice cream to and he’s built up such a Democratic majority in this state it’s virtually impossible to take him down. But certainly the mistreatment of the people they tried to do here is coming to an end,” he said.

Paladino said he was concentrating on his run for school board in Buffalo, not a possible 2014 rematch against Cuomo.

“I’m running for school board right now and then I have to go clean that mess up and then I’ll worry about anything else I have to do in life,” he said.

Paladino acknowledged that it’s unlikely the gun control law would be overturned in the Legislature or by Cuomo, but was hopeful a court challenge would be successful.  

Cuomo, he said, was simply trying to raise his own profile by passing the law.  

“It’s not about the principle of the law,” he said. “For him it was about fulfilling his miserable ego.”