Friday, February 20, 2009
I was a fan of David Paterson when he became governor of New York. He seemed like an interesting, unique guy who would make a solid governor. Boy, was I wrong -- Paterson has been a total and complete failure who is in entirely over his head.
After weeks and weeks of whining about how "Saturday Night Live" treats him unfairly, Paterson defended the New York Post for its racist chimp-shooting carton. Paterson tells us to "move on." One doesn't need to be a genius to see how self-serving his defense of the Post is, after an op-ed of theirs supported the return of the tax-cheating ex-priest Charles O'Byrne as his chief of staff. Because what Albany needs are more cheats and con artists. (O'Byrne's lawyers claimed he had a condition known as "non-filer syndrome," which causes people to not be able to file their tax returns. Not a joke. That was really what they said.)
New Yorkers are aghast at the miserable budget Paterson has proposed. A majority support a progressive millionaire tax, but Paterson would rather put the burden on the middle class. Does he know anything about tax policy? Who is making these terrible decisions for him?
While Illinois's Senate replacement disaster has gotten the most press, Paterson completely bungled finding a replacement for Clinton's Senate seat. He picked an unpopular, Sarah Palin-esque figure from upstate who actually keeps rifles under her bed. I'm serious, it's not a joke. Kirsten Gillibrand's appointment is so un-serious that she's already down 10 points in 2010 primary election polls.
Paterson's poll numbers make congressional Republicans look popular. The same poll showing the weakness of his Senate pick shows him down an astonishing 32 points to New York's popular Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
If another Hudson Miracle happens and Paterson somehow manages to get the nomination again, he'll almost certainly be beaten in the general by Rudy Giuliani. Paterson may single-handedly revive the New York Republican Party.
Thankfully, he doesn't have nearly enough political skill to actually be elected governor. At this point, it's unlikely he could win a middle-school race for Student Council.
Originally posted on The Hill.