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December 30, 2008

Pretenders To The Throne? NY Governor Is Interviewing Candidates Other Than Princess Caroline For Senate Seat

A funny thing happened on the way to the coronation (sorry NYT link).

Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell, a Democrat who represents the Upper West Side. Mr. O’Donnell met with Mr. Paterson for about 45 minutes on Monday afternoon in the governor’s Midtown office for what Mr. O’Donnell said was his formal interview for the Senate seat.

...The governor’s chief spokeswoman, Risa B. Heller, confirmed that Mr. Paterson spoke to Mr. O’Donnell as part of the conversations that the governor is having with “a number of people” about the job. She declined, however, to say how many people Mr. Paterson has interviewed.

There's a whole slew of candidates listed. My front runner, Rep. Kristen Gillibrand isn't on there but I'm sticking with her as my guess. She's a woman who is nominally from upstate but has lots of ties with NYC power brokers (she represents an upstate district but pretty much used her summer home as her primary residence to do it).

Princess put Patterson in a bad spot with this. If he picks her, he looks weak (remember he's only the Governor because of Client #9's resignation), like he's the creature of the NY city and national elites. He'll piss off working Democratic politicians who were already less than thrilled about getting bigfooted by Hills 8 years ago and don't seem to like Ms. Kennedy all that much.

Of course, if he doesn't pick Sweet Caroline, he'll piss of a lot of NY money people (no, that's not code for Jews).

The quandary is, he needs both groups to be elected in 2010. See, a few months back he was a shoe-in. A sitting black, legally blind, Democrat governor will cruise to victory in NY 9 times out of 10. The 10th time requires something crazy like say, a state budget meltdown. Guess what is going on right now in NY?

I'm not saying the NY Republican party (is there still such a thing?) can rouse it self to challenge Paterson in 2 years but conditions will be more favorable for it than we thought just a few months ago. Governor Rudy, anyone?

As always there are other issues involved, Chuck "Is That A Camera" Schumer's ego and a strange battle over control of the state Senate to name just two that have to be factored into Patterson's decision. This is simply a headache and circus he doesn't need.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:57 AM

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