Sunday, July 12, 2009

Governor Rebound

The last 30+ days have been watershed for New York Governor David Paterson. As the Senate coup and the resulting political cacaphony began to make the Governor look more like a village idiot, Paterson snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by announcing he would appoint former MTA Commissioner Richard Ravitch as Lieutenant Governor!
Friday afternoon I was to have interviewed Richard Ravitch for WAMC News. The Governor's press people kept calling me and saying "there will be a short delay" --- 5 minutes became 10 --- 10 became 20 --- and finally, "he's not going to be able to speak with you...meetings are running over into other meetings..." Ah, that's okay. It's politics and things can get hectic in a heartbeat. I had a great batch of questions prepared for RR, and hopefully he'll be able to answer them some time this week.
The Sunday Times Union paints a picture of Paterson, "the first black and blind governor" as positioned to enjoy a "rensissance" thanks to public perception that his appointing Ravitch jump-started the chaotic Senate into taking action to break the 31-31 deadlock. Quoting the TU's Lawrence C. Levy: "...the appointment of Richard Ravitch as lieutenant governor changed everything. It didn't matter that Paterson's legal authority to do so was questionable at best. It didn't matter that one of the state's most popular democrats, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, had declared the move unconstitutional... The Ravitch gambit put Paterson squarely with the people in showing he was 'mad as hell,'... Paterson's approval rating should be on the way up..." And THAT, my friends, is what we must wait and see about. Did the Senators carry their clownery far enough over the top that it restored public faith in the Governor? Stay tuned!

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