|March 2, 2010|
|New York Governor Paterson Sees the Light|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Kudos for New York Governor David Paterson for apparently deciding to drop his election campaign, less than a week after vowing to win the seat.|
The Empire State's "accidental Governor" took the top post after the March resignation of Eliot Spitzer, who will be forever be remembered by New Yorkers as "Client No. 9" for his sexual romps with a 22-year-old call girl.
Patterson is a likable enough guy, but is well in over his head in dealing with the legislative sharks that rule the cesspool that is Albany.
Most recently, thin-skinned Patterson has been complaining about bum press, dismissing any criticism as tinged with racism or prejudice against one who is legally blind.
The truth: Paterson failed to make any impression in Albany other than one of detachment. Rather than putting his nose to the grindstone in a bid to put troubled New York State's shaky financial house on solid ground, Paterson chose the bright lights of New York City's nightlife and the easy life of the Hamptons.
He barely broke a sweat when he did attend the people's business, clocking in at 10 or so and exiting at four.
The New York Times piece this week about Paterson's intervention on behalf of a top aide and former driver apparently was the last straw.
In a supreme bit of irony, Paterson has asked Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to probe whether State Police improperly intervened in a domestic violence case involving his right hand man, David Johnson, and his girlfriend. Paterson, himself, make a phone call to the now ex-girlfriend of Johnson, further muddying the waters. Paterson did suspend Johnson without pay.
Cuomo, of course, is Paterson's chief rival for the Governor job. The son of New York State former Governor, Mario, has raised a campaign treasury of more $16M compared to Paterson's $3M warchest.
Cuomo would have aced a primary campaign against Paterson, but at the cost of alienating a key portion of the Democratic party, black voters who may have become upset with a challenge to the Empire State?s only black Governor.
Paterson stubbornly fended off pleas from the Obama Administration to step out of the race. Team Obama knew Paterson did not have a prayer against Republican challenger Rick Lazio, whom Cuomo leads by about 20 percent in the polls.
Politics aside, New Yorkers deserve a strong leader, whether he or she is a Democrat or Republican.
The NYT succeeded where President Obama did not. New Yorkers owe a big debt to the "Old Gray Lady," who proved once again that she has a lot of fight left in her.
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