Monday, September 21, 2009

The New Albany Landscape - Courtesy of Obama

This wasn't entirely unexpected, but the way in which Attorney General Andrew Cuomo was elevated to Democratic party leader in New York is breathtaking. Governor David Paterson has been bizarrely ineffective and downright awful since taking over for Democrat Eliot Spitzer who resigned after being named in a prostitution scandal with call girl Ashley Dupre.

Over the weekend, President Obama pretty much destroyed Paterson's chances at running for reelection, and cleared the way for Cuomo to take over the top job. Obama sees the numbers, and knows that Paterson is chum in the water for someone like Rudy Giuliani, and probably even Rick Lazio (who previously ran an unsuccessful campaign against Hillary Clinton for the US Senate - after Giuliani withdrew upon acknowledging that he had prostate cancer). Obama's stance destroys any remaining claim by Paterson that this is about race. It was never about race when Paterson started spouting his nonsense when the media started circling around Paterson's inability to govern, but this shows that Paterson is truly on the outs with the party bigwigs.

Cuomo is a completely different story. He's effective and capable, and has burnished his credentials as the attorney general - though we should see what he does with the ACORN investigation.

Albany politics is an absolute mess, and it's interesting that Obama is so concerned about the gubernatorial race this early. It shows that he's keenly sensitive to the fact that if the Republicans get their act together in the New York metro region, they could affect the Democrats' chances in 2010 and 2012 nationwide. New Jersey is already leaning towards kicking Obama's pal Jon Corzine to the curb, and if New York also goes GOP, that's a big hit to Democrats chances.

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