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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Governor Paterson's Honesty

I have been severely critical of David Paterson. My critiques are based on his many mistakes but one thing I have admired since he took office is his penchant for honesty. Honest or candid remarks are out of the norm for politicians and Paterson is not an ordinary Governor. When appointed Governor he quickly admitted to a history of drug use and extra marital affairs. His proactive approach caused some controversy but saved his job. In retrospect I cannot help but wonder if he regrets being appointed Governor and holding onto his job in those tenuous first weeks. I do know his career did not work as planned. In a luncheon this week Paterson stated that when he ran as lieutenant governor in 2006 along with Eliot Spitzer for governor he thought then Senator Hilary Clinton would win her efforts to become President. When this happened Paterson thought Governor Spitzer would appoint him to Clinton's vacated senate seat. In Paterson's own words he said "I did not sign up for this. I wanted to be lieutenant governor. I had this grand plan that Hilary Clinton was going to become president. Maybe the governor would appoint me to the senate".

Paterson's candid remarks are of interest because politicians rarely if ever publicly admit to such grand ambitions. It is also interesting to note Paterson's comments were made shortly after it was revealed the Obama administration supposedly does not want him to run for election in 2010. This must be a bitter pill for Paterson to swallow and he stated that he had "never heard of a president asking a sitting governor not to run. I thought it was very unusual and very unfair". Welcome to big time politics Mr. Paterson. While I may not like Paterson's actions since he assumed office, he was could not have come to power at a worse time. In my estimation virtually all of his problems do not stem from his mistakes but rather from a dismal economy and being forced to make exceedingly unpopular budget cuts. Paterson is smart enough to realize this. He stated "If you ever wanted to know the plan or course you could take to become unpopular, be governor of this state starting March 17, 2008. No matter who you are, I guarantee you, no one will like you". These too are exceedingly honest remarks and all too true. I amy not like Paterson's decisions but I do respect his honesty. How often to you get to write that about a politician?

1 comment:

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I feel that way about Congressman and former Tenn. State Senator Steve Cohen. I disagree heartily with a lot of his ideas but I think he's truly a public servant.

Also am kind of appalled at Obama's asking Paterson to step aside. It's not his business, it's Paterson's and the State of New York's business.