The First Draft: Does White House want Paterson out of NY race?

September 21, 2009

President Barack Obama visits New York State Monday, but not for a warm and fuzzy get-together with Democratic Gov. David Paterson.

That’s because the White House wants Paterson to end his tenure in office, believing he is too embattled to remain at the top of the state Democratic ticket, according to U.S. media reports.OBAMA/

The White House and national Democrats are worried that Paterson’s low poll numbers could drag down other Democrats in next year’s congressional elections.

Not that Obama cares much about warm receptions from Paterson. The president snubbed Paterson during his visit to Wall Street last week by failing to invite the governor to the high profile event in his own state.USA/

Instead of an invitation, Paterson got a meeting with White House political director Patrick Gaspard, who told him Obama had lost faith in his ability to win election in 2010, the New York Times reported.

Paterson was lieutenant governor until March 2008, when he unexpectedly rose to the helm of the state government after former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in a prostitution scandal.

Some New York Democrats are said to be angry about what they view as heavy handed White House tactics. But others welcome the move.

Meanwhile, Paterson has dug in his heels and hired a campaign manager who worked for the Obama campaign.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama); Reuters/Gary Wiepert (Paterson)


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No, its never about race in america, blacks only imagine it is. Shame on reuters for the title of this piece.

Posted by dj | Report as abusive

I think that White House/Obama interference in the politics of New York State is abominable. I, too, am Nubian. Obama’s father is from Kenya. He is not the legacy of slavery, at least on the Nubian side of his DNA. He has not experienced what my DNA has experienced. How dare he attempt to discourage Governor Patterson from seeking re-election, a man who is the legacy of slavery. I will never support Obama again. He is a fool, and a tool of the Khazars, who will eventually liquidate him, anyway.

Posted by Ron | Report as abusive

I think the people of New York will rise up and get rid of him with or without the President

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

Paterson, as noted in the article, was not elected governor, but as lieutenant governor replaced the disgraced Eliot Spitzer. He quickly became remarkably unpopular as governor. The first “genuine” black governor – elected to the post – was Doug Wilder of Virginia. This may seem a subtle difference. But Wilder, with an electoral mandate that Paterson lacks, would not be pressured by the president to step away from a post in which he commands so little local respect.

Posted by David Olive | Report as abusive

– Blog editor’s note:

DJ made a fair point. It was not clear in the blog why race is an issue here. So we’ve changed the headline and first paragraph.

That said, race has become a factor in the story. We will have another blog shortly explaining more fully.

Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele was the one who raised it. He told CBS’s “Face the Nation” program he found it to be “stunning that the White House would send word to one of only two black governors in the country not to run for re-election.”

“It just raised a curious point for me. I think Paterson, Governor Paterson’s numbers are about the same as Governor Corzine’s numbers, yet the president was with Governor Corzine. I don’t know if there’s been a request for Governor Corzine to step down in New Jersey. So I just find it to be stunning.”

We’ll have more on the Obama-Paterson meeting shortly.

Posted by David Alexander | Report as abusive

George Soros will tell Obama not to run in 2012.

Posted by dom youngross | Report as abusive