If Governor Paterson wasn't happy with the media's depiction of his job performance before a radio interview Friday connecting it to an "orchestrated" attack from the press related to race, he certainly can't be thrilled that he ended up inviting a whole new round of onslaught from voices throughout the state questioning his competence.
Over the weekend, Paterson got an earful about the comments from editorial columnists, a NY1 host, the radio host he made the comments to, a state senator and even officials from the Obama administration. Today the News talks toa top labor official who tells the paper, "Most people in New York realize that it's over for him at the end of this term and it's based on accomplishments, not based on the color of his skin."
The Paterson remarks have created such a stir that there's even a case of backlash against the backlash, specifically the comments made by Staten Island State Senator Diane Savino. When discussing the governor's capabilities and limitations, Savino told the Advance:
"We live in a digital age now, with e-mailing and Blackberrying. He is not able to do that because of his visual impairment. David cannot do those things. Also, he does not read Braille. He has people reading newspapers to him. He listens to tapes of staffers briefing him. All that takes an enormous amount of time. As a result, he is not able to respond on the fly the way [former Gov. Eliot] Spitzer or even [former Gov. George] Pataki could. In some ways I think that has hindered him, in spite of everything he has accomplished in life."
Paterson aide Larry Schwartz called those comments "insensitive and totally inappropriate" and said "Diane Savino owes a public apology to Gov. Paterson ... [and] every visually impaired New Yorker." Savino said she apologizes if she "inadvertently hurt anyone's feelings."
The only person who seems to be attempting to mend fences in the aftermath of Paterson's remarks is the Reverend Al Sharpton, who is using brouhaha as a potential opportunity for another Brew Haha, or Suds Summit Lite perhaps. Referring to the governor's specific callout of New York Post columnist Fred Dicker, Sharpton said to the Post, "I think they all should sit down and talk. Maybe I'll take the governor and reporter for a beer."