President Obama gave the OK for his minions to instruct New York Gov. David Paterson to be a good Democrat and give up on a re-election campaign. It’s because the White House thinks Paterson has made himself too weak politically. Or because Paterson supposedly lied to them. Either way, it’s a “get off the bus” message from a man who doesn’t support marriage equality to a man who does.
The White House would much rather see New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has high approval ratings, face off against a Republican challenger next year — which could very well be none other than former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The reasoning? Paterson can’t win, Obama’s camp claims, thanks to a series of missteps. And because Obama and Paterson are both black, it’s apparently totally kosher for one to tell the other to step down without any traces of racism. (Paterson is only one of two sitting black governors.)
Or maybe all this fracas is because Paterson told the White House he would not select Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, and then did so — leaving open a Democratic seat in the House in a Republican district. Paterson also dissed Caroline Kennedy in the press, which is a no-no in the Obama administration.
But we say: fooey. Could Cuomo be a stronger sparring partner against anti-gay Giuliani? Perhaps. But what we have in Gov. Paterson is a man who stands with his convictions about civil rights and equality. A man who demands marriage rights for a group of people he does not identify with.
It’s refreshing to see such a confident American stand up for what’s right. It might also make him a terrible politician. We’ll soon find out: Paterson has no plans to step aside, and is mounting a re-election campaign on the Democratic ticket.