Friday, November 06, 2009

Gov. Paterson Hopes To Save Job

After seeing how the 2009 elections shook out, Gov. David Paterson isn't going to wait on the White House or anyone else to decide his fate for him. Never mind that he's been ineffectual and presided over a massive increase in state spending despite all evidence suggesting that New York reduce its spending because of massive structural deficits that would occur as Wall Street and other revenues dropped off a cliff.
Paterson, whose popularity currently hovers in the 20 percent range, was seriously wounded when Obama let it be known he didn't want Paterson to run because Republicans like Rudy Giuliani consistently beat him in the polls. But Obama's recent lack of success in backing local candidates, including New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, has empowered Paterson.

"The President went to New Jersey five times for Corzine and wasn't able to turn that around, so I think here in New York, New Yorkers know everything is local," said Lynch.

But that's not all Paterson is doing. He's bringing on board campaign powerhouse Harold Ickes, who was former President Bill Clinton's Deputy Chief of Staff.

Will all this help the popularity-challenged governor? At least one lawmaker thinks so.

"I think he's a viable candidate already. He's the governor. Anybody that's the governor is a viable candidate to begin with. I think it can only help make him more viable," said Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Manhattan).

Paterson's political future is hanging in the balance. If the ads are successful they could make popular state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo think twice about a primary challenge. If they're not, it could force him to re-assess his candidacy.
Cuomo is a serious challenger and one that would likely get star power support across the board from big Democrats at all levels; he's popular and has a record on which he could run. If there's going to be a primary battle, that's the one that would send Paterson packing. Paterson can only hope that he can turn around his high negatives, but I doubt it.

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