At the African-American Day parade in Harlem yesterday, Governor David Paterson informed reporters that he remained a candidate for governor, despite opposition to his candidacy from within his own party: "I am running for governor right now. I have no idea about any, in other words, I am a candidate for governor." Is this defiance or leaving himself some wiggle room?
Paterson did not deny the rumors that Obama requested him to leave the governor's race, saying, "I mean I have had a number of conversations with a number of different people. They were confidential. I'm not going to discuss them... I'm not talking about any specific conversations."
Speaking to the Times, Staten Island Congressman Michael McMahon expressed the Democratic Party's fears of having Paterson, whose approval ratings are at twenty percent, on the ballot: "As any down-ballot candidate would be, I am very concerned about the top of the ticket, and I am happy that the White House is as concerned as I am."
UPDATE:Paterson will meet with Obama briefly today at the Albany airport, as Obama proceeds to a speech in Troy, NY. We'll see if Paterson is still running after that meeting.
UPDATE 2: From Jake Tapper's tweet: "Gov Paterson was 1st in receiving line 2 greet POTUS in Albany. handshake, chit-chat, and half-embrace, say pool reporters. looked 'cordial.'"
UPDATE 3:From NY1: Obama in his address in Troy — with Paterson standing at his side — did the old "faint praise" routine, calling him "a wonderful man." Later in his speech he also mentioned Andrew Cuomo.
UPDATE 4: The funeral notices for Mr. Paterson are already in the press. Elizabeth Benjamin from the Daily News calls the governor "the lamest of lame ducks" and casts some aspersions on the White House for achieving "the seemingly impossible... making Albany even more dysfunctional than it already was."