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Archive for October 1st, 2009|Daily archive page

Gaffe Factory.

In Politics on October 1, 2009 at 10:09 pm

David Paterson on Meet The Press on 9/27/09 - William B. Plowman/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

Ever since David Paterson became Governor of New York he’s been a different kind of politician. But not a successful one.

It’s a little hard to tell if the morass he finds himself in is situational or personal. Is he a capable but embattled leader forced to make unpopular decisions for the survival of the fiscal and social welfare of his state, or a wily State Senator with ineffectual executive faculties?

His State of the State address was actually a resolute, reasoned address for tough times (yes, I was the lone TV viewer), but his bungles have overshadowed that rhetoric.

Paterson has two big personal problems that have led to his political ones. First, he acts as if normal political guidelines don’t apply to him, yet is neither charismatic nor effective enough to be exempt.

In those early days he was a fresh face to most, perhaps even an exciting to inspiring one, as the state’s first legally blind governor and African American one.

He came into office and acted as a shrewder political mind than he was ever going to get credit for. Perhaps he felt that all he had gleaned growing up around an influential circle would enable him to maneuver common pitfalls and move beyond politics.

After all, his father Basil (is that worth a pesto joke?) rolled deep, with former Mayor David Dinkins, Rep. Charlie Rangel (possessor of one of the more ludicrous voices in Congress, neck-and-neck with Barney Frank), and civil rights activist Percy Sutton, in what was called the Harlem Clubhouse. Read the rest of this entry »