NY Governor David Paterson and the Caroline Kennedy Fiasco

As one looks back on and reflects on the handling of the NY Senate seat replacement for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it is clear that Governor David Paterson treated Caroline Kennedy with disrespect and disdain.

First, Paterson indicated that Caroline Kennedy was the front runner and did everything to encourage her pursuit of the Senate appointment.  Later, he publicly trashed her and his staff spread rumors about why she was not qualified to take the seat.  Meanwhile, he showed absolutely no respect either for any of the other leading candidates, and then settled on little known upstate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillebrand, only in her second two year term, and an advocate of the National Rifle Association in a state which has long been against open access to guns. 

While I did not think Caroline Kennedy was the ideal candidate and supported the selection of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for that seat, the Governor’s conduct and poor judgment in what he said publicly, and what his staff did in his name, makes him a prime candidate for challenge for a full term as Governor of New York in 2010.  It is hoped that he will be opposed in the primary by Attorney General Cuomo who has made a name for himself going after Wall Street.  Cuomo would restore the dignity and prestige of the Governor’s office, now sullied first by the behavior of former Governor Eliot Spitzer, and then poorly administered by his successor, David Paterson, who would never under normal circumstances have had a chance to be Governor. 

New York State deserves better than David Paterson for Governor and also Kirsten Gillebrand for Senator.  2010 should be a challenging and interesting year in New York politics!

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