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.
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?