NYT to NY Gov. David Paterson: Don't Run For A Full Term

When you read this post, keep in mind that NY Governor David Paterson is polling at less than 20% approval and 80% disapproval...

The NY Times calls on Governor David Paterson to not run for Governor next year, saying, in part, that hell be able to get more done as a lame duck and that it would give Democrats the opportunity to run a nominee, like Andrew Cuomo, that would likely keep the Governorship in Democrats hands.

Earlier this week, Mr. Paterson suggested that he never really wanted to be governor. “I did not sign up for this,” he said. When he ran for lieutenant governor, it seems, he had a “grand plan” that involved then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton becoming president and Gov. Eliot Spitzer appointing him to her seat.

Joking or not, Mr. Paterson put into words what has been increasingly clear in the 18 months since he became governor following Mr. Spitzer’s resignation: As well meaning as Mr. Paterson has been, he is not the right person for New York over the long haul.

Now the best thing he can do for his state is to announce that he will not seek a full term next year.

They also let it be know that they don't think the President's involvement was appropriate, but that it did start an important conversation:

That does not, by the way, make the White House’s attempt to shove him out of the election next year any less unwelcome and amateurish. But it does provide a focus for what Mr. Paterson ought to be doing in coming months.

With Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch now at his side, he should let his Democratic Party get about the business of choosing a strong gubernatorial candidate. Freed from the political distraction of a campaign, he and Mr. Ravitch could focus on two critical jobs: passing a solid, balanced budget that maintains a good credit rating for the state and trying to get the Legislature to clean up its seedy act.
The Times ends with what not running would mean in Lame Duck terms:

Dealing with the budget properly would certainly make him more unpopular with the Legislature, the interest groups and the unions, but if he’s not running for election, he wouldn’t have to worry about that. Freeing himself from the need to raise money from favor seekers would give him extra credibility in trying to make the State Legislature less of a national embarrassment.

Instead of the sub rosa political competition now going on between Mr. Paterson and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who is clearly looking to run for governor next year, the two offices could work together to produce major reforms in campaign financing, ethics, budgeting and redistricting.

read the full editorial...
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