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September 20, 2009
Obama blunders into New York politics
President Obama has asked New York Governor David Paterson to get out of the race for governor and give the Democrats a chance to win.
Raymond Hernandez and Jeff Zeleny writing in the New York Times report:
The move against a sitting Democratic governor represents an extraordinary intervention into a state political race by the president, and is a delicate one, given that Mr. Paterson is one of only two African-American governors in the nation.
But Mr. Obama's political team and other party leaders have grown increasingly worried that the governor's unpopularity could drag down Democratic members of Congress in New York, as well as the Democratic-controlled Legislature, in next fall's election.
Mr. Paterson and his aides did not respond to repeated requests for comment Saturday. Mr. Paterson arrived on Long Island Saturday evening to attend a dinner, but walked hurriedly past a reporter who tried to ask him about the White House request.
An aide to Mr. Meeks said the congressman could not be reached Saturday.
"The message the White House wanted to send - that it wants Paterson to step aside - was delivered," said the Democratic operative,, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were intended to be confidential. "He is resistant."
Gee - ya think? For a guy who is supposed to be a political genius, Obama may have pulled the dunce move of the year with this stunt. Jumping into a delicate political situation with both feet and throwing his presidential weight around is probably not conducive to getting Paterson to cooperate. In fact, Obama's stupidity may have doomed the Democrats next year in New York because my guess would be it will do nothing if not steel the governor's resolve to stay in the race.
We can only hope that Obama pulls similar bonehead moves in other states across the country.