Question of the Day: Should Obama Dump Paterson?

Photo NY Times

New York politics are a buzz with word that the White House used a liaison to tell besieged New York Gov. David Paterson to pack it in and call it a day, to not run for reelection in 2010.

More after the jump.

President Obama had sent a request to Mr. Paterson that he withdraw from the New York governor’s race, fearing that Mr. Paterson cannot recover from his dismal political standing, according to two senior administration officials and a New York Democratic operative with direct knowledge of the situation.

The decision to ask Mr. Paterson to step aside was proposed by political advisers to Mr. Obama, but approved by the president himself, one of the administration officials said.

“Is there concern about the situation in New York? Absolutely,” the second administration official said Saturday evening. “Has that concern been conveyed to the governor? Yes.”

Paterson started off with high ratings (and who wouldn’t have Eliot Spitzer’s seven diamond whore-gate), but his approval is down everywhere, even among fellow African Americans. Many believe Paterson has bungled his way through his governorship, others have blamed the harsh New York press for only focusing on the bad. Well … Paterson blamed the press and racism, which is pretty much the opposite of what the president is doing now while dealing with his own media and crazy-pants related problems.

Not that the president sending someone to tell Paterson to let it go matters. Paterson, like a-many politician, is holding on to power like it’s the pillow he drools on at night.

Appearing tired and agitated at a parade in Harlem on Sunday, the governor told a crowd of reporters that he would not abandon his campaign to seek a full term.

“I have said time and time again that I am running for governor next year,” he said at the 40th annual African-American Day Parade.

Mr. Paterson would not characterize what he was told by the White House, saying that he would not “discuss confidential conversations.”

“I’m not talking about any specific conversations,” he said. “As I said, I am running for office.”

Nobody gives up on power. Nobody. Not politicians. You have to be pretty deep in the crap house (or pretty deep in whores) to pack it in. Ask South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and his “true love.” Ask Former. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich who, having no shame, is magically still on my teevee politicking as fast as he can. Ask former President Bill Clinton who survived an impeachment. You just don’t give up that sweet of a job no matter who comes after you. You fight to the last man or woman standing, even if it’s just your poor wife and the dog in the end.

I don’t blame Paterson for wanting to hang in there based on that principle alone. Dig yourself in a hole, little politician, then just dig a little deeper and now you have a trench for some trench warfare. I’m also not surprised that the president is like “you’re toxic, please go away. 2010, man, think of the party.” President Obama is a Democrat thinking of the larger picture with the party and the act of holding on to states and seats in a hostile environment. Of course there’s the black factor, as in Paterson is one of only two black governors in the country and it’s always precarious when it comes to those who expect some degree of racial fealty/pride for a fellow “lonely onlies” black politico. But I think racial solidarity can only get you so far when you’re doing a sucky job.

Is Paterson doing a sucky job? I’m not a New Yorker. I only know what I’ve read in the Times and Paterson tells me that they’re all just a bunch of racists. So who can I believe? My READERS! That’s who! Let me know. Did Paterson blow it or should the Obama Administration stand by their man in Albany?

25 thoughts on “Question of the Day: Should Obama Dump Paterson?

  1. What do you mean should Obama tell him? I thought Obama had already told him to pack it in? Yes, he should pack it in but his hubris won’t let him. When he loses maybe he will get a clue. Had he let go, he would go out as a class act that put party before self.

  2. I read that New Jersey Governor Corzine’s popularity has declined a lot over the last few months, is Obama going to ask him not to run for re-election too?

  3. To the Corzine point, the Democratic primary hasn’t happened yet in New York State while New Jersey’s general election is only a few weeks away so I don’t see them getting a new candidate that soon.You’re forgetting Sexy Lexi. That’s Illinois State Alexi Giannoulias (alias Sexy Lexi) who Barack Obama himself encouraged to run for that position in 2006. He is the current frontrunner to be the Democratic Party nominee to replace Roland Burris in 2010. Sexy Lexi’s 33, son of Greek immigrants who started a bank in Chicago and become pretty wealthy but mainly he’s pretty known around Illinois as "Obama’s Basketball Buddy" as he used to play pro-ball in Europe and he started playing with Barack Obama, including the famous game on Election Day 2008. Yet the White House (including Barack Obama himself) meet with Illinois State Attorney General Lisa Madigan to try to get her to challenge Sexy Lexi in the primary. I think Sexy Lexi, like David Paterson, would need a lot of help from Barack Obama to get elected while other candidates like Lisa Madigan or Andrew Cuomo could run on their own steam without needing a campaign ad, stump speech or fundraiser done by Barack Obama every 15 minutes. In the end, Lisa Madigan decided not to run and remain Illinois State Attorney General., David Paterson was pretty terrible to Caroline Kennedy and she’s an ally and a personal friend of Barack Obama so I don’t think that increase his affection for David Paterson. My bet on one reason Barack Obama likes Caroline Kennedy is that her normalcy and her kids’ normalcy gives him hope that his choice to enter national politics won’t ruin his two daughters lives and they will also grow to be normal adults and good parents to any of his future grandkids.

  4. It must have been an awkward moment this morning when Paterson greeted Obama

  5. Jaime said:Plus, David Paterson was pretty terrible to Caroline Kennedy and she’s an ally and a personal friend of Barack Obama so I don’t think that increase his affection for David Paterson. My bet on one reason Barack Obama likes Caroline Kennedy is that her normalcy and her kids’ normalcy gives him hope that his choice to enter national politics won’t ruin his two daughters lives and they will also grow to be normal adults and good parents to any of his future grandkids.I say "BINGO".

  6. Yes, the very scary idea of having to potentially work with "Governor Giuliani" (should he run) is enough for the O administration to weigh in. It’s also hard to get around the fact that Andrew Cuomo has polled better than Patterson as the possible Democratic candidate for governor.

  7. Please, the only reason Obama likes Kennedy so much is payback for Teddy’s endorsement guaranteeing him the nomination.

  8. I don’t live in New York, so maybe I’m not qualified to answer that. Still, I’ve heard some really negative things about Patterson, like being a liar for one. They say perception is reality, and Patterson doesn’t look like he’s doing a good job. I think some of that has to do with his handicap. SNL makes him out to be a buffoon, when he’s really a very intelligent person. Plus, there’s the bad economy and all governors get blamed for that. And finally, I don’t think Patterson is as afrocentric as Obama, for instance. Black people don’t relate to him as much.

  9. I posted this comment elsewhere on this same topic. I have a slightly different take on this whole Governor Paterson story. I can’t help but wonder if this leaked story which the White House has of course denied about President Obama asking the Governor not to run for a full term. Is this perhaps a case of political payback for how badly Governor Paterson mishandled the whole Caroline Kennedy situation last year? I think everyone remembers that Caroline Kennedy had at one stage put her name in for nomination to Hilary Clinton’s former senate seat. And more than just a few political observers felt that Governor Paterson was extremely disrespectful towards her. Particularly with the numerous damaging leaks to the media that came directly from the Governor’s senior staff members. Caroline Kennedy shortly thereafter withdrew her name from consideration and Governor Paterson went on to select other woman to Mrs. Clinton’s Senate seat.This rumor whether true or false, has pretty much ensured that Gov Paterson won’t be able to raise any significant funds to mount a campaign. In the world of politics – revenge is definitely a dish that is ALWAYS served cold.

  10. For the Obama Administration to put Patterson "out there" in such a way is bit Kanye Westish, if you ask me. What ever happened to the smoke filled backroom deals and convos (those types of communications weren’t all bad). To do this kind of thing in the public eye is tactless and messy.

  11. Please! Paterson ain’t doing that bad of a job. Like others have stated, it’s the economy Negro. While I didn’t like Kennedy as a replacement for Clinton, Paterson should have chosen a Dem from a safer seat. The Republicans may be able to pick up Gillibrands old seat. NY Media hates the Harlem establishment (Paterson is a foundation member, IMMHO) and infighting between Blacks and Latinos in the legislature — no one really talked about it, but that was the reason for that entire Who’s In Charge mess this Summer — have the Repugnants thinking they’ll retake the Empire State. There’s still more than a year to go and Cuomo may have the gonads to challenge and beat Paterson in a Dem primary.

  12. It would be a mercy killing. And kill Spitzer for putting New York folk in this position in the first place. Publicly denounce Paterson–and all other low skill clowns who we support merely for expediency and/or color–and develop a new class of leaders. Barack should have Kwame"The hip hop mayor, now probationer" shived in the jail shower. Behead or shoot Marion Barry a la King Louis XVI or Czar Nicholas to make a point that there’s no going back. Slap a few ACORN folk too. We’re in a war. We can’t afford to have fools as generals, or soldiers.

  13. As often in politics it comes down to the lesser of all evils-Patterson runs for gov. and we take a chance at Rudy "i patented racial profiling in NYC’ Guiliani moving into the governor’s mansion-heck no. I will never forget his campaign against Dinkins, with mobs of drunk White cops shouting racial slurs along with their endorsement of Rudy, and he was in the middle of it all, grinning and he never once publicly acknowledged it. Patterson would not have a shot against Rudy with all the Archie Bunkers in the boroughs here (plus he’s not doing a great job), so yeah he needs to step down and let Cuomo have at it.

  14. I live in Albany,,Paterson,, like Obama was handed a pile s*it…all the unions etc (obamas base) have to have their contracts cut…he,like Arnold in California,has had to,,,and will have to make more cuts,,,RONNS comments are on point..he’s doing what he has to and is being crucified for it…states can’t print money like The Feds can…anyway the inside story on Sen Guilibrand is this,,Her Grandmother,basicly ran the Albany Political machine ,one of the most powerful in the country,,her Grandmother,,Polly Noonan convinced Dan Oconnell (MR BIG in Albany) to back Basil Paterson,David Patersons father and1st black man to be elected to state wide office,Basil would never had been elected without Polly Noonans backing..David Patterson returned the favor to her Grand daughter 40 years later…who in Gods name would want to be Gov of NY,Ohio,Califfornia??ya have to do bad things ,,,no body wants to be the heavy,,,,being Pres in 2012 will suck also

  15. Is it wrong that the first thing I thought about when the news broke was: I can’t wait for the SNL skit? I’m sure he is very smart @David Wise but this is kinda golden news. On the other hand, The Admin sounds a bit cruel in playing this numbers game when it comes to elections. Why not let the people in Paterson’s area decide with this novel thing called voting?

  16. Sticking to the question – If Patterson called the media racist. Oh, his behine is gone. Obama ain’t haven’t that! Did I keep it clean enough? "Come on guys, cut a blogger some slack" – what type of"brother" in the company of men and women do you know that speaks like that? Just asking. I don’t think he should, but knowing Obama its probably already been done. A "blind man" can even she this hockey going on.

  17. malted_tea:The Obama admin is so afraid that they will lose a number of seats in the mid-term election and they will do anything to prevent it. If it means cutting Paterson lose then so be it. But in fairness to the Obama admin some of Paterson wounds are self inflicted.

  18. is Barack Obama telling Barbara Walter about how Caroline Kennedy is a great friend and great person and that if she turned out okay, then Sasha and Malia Obama might turn out okay too even with a father who’s the President of the United States.Random side note: Sasha is her nickname and her full name is Natasha and my Russian friend calls her Natasha Barackovna, which I like. Told me back home, Russians really like that her full name is actually Natasha.

  19. swiv:Obama is afraid that Paterson will drag down the other Dems on the NY ticket and cost them some seats at the mid term election. It is the same reason Obama wanted Mas to change their law regarding appointing a new senator, he needs every vote and doesn’t care how he gets it.

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