Paterson Suspends Campaign, Not Resigning
February 26th, 2010
In what sounded like a campaign stump speech combined with a resignation, Gov. David Paterson has announced that he is ending his campaign for governor.
“I am being realistic about politics,” said Paterson. “It hasn’t been the latest distraction it has been an accumulation of obstacles that have obfuscated me from bringing my message to the public.”
“Therefore, there are times in politics when you have to know not to strive for service but to step back. And that moment has come for me.”
Paterson spent most of his time listing things his accomplishments as a public servant. He said he had “fought against special interests,” repealed the Rockefeller Drug Laws, reduced the deficit, and improved the quality of lives of all New Yorkers.
Paterson spoke mostly in the past tense but dispelled rumors that he will resign. “There are 308 days left in my term and I will spend everyone of them fighting for the people of New York,” he said.
Paterson said he was looking forward to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s investigation, saying that the truth would exonerate him and that he did not abuse his office.
The press were only allowed a few questions. Paterson responded to a question about Cuomo’s campaign by saying he had offered Cuomo his assistance, “should he become a candidate.”
Legislators are concerned that Paterson’s move leaves the state in the hands of a lame duck governor who is absolutely incapable of mustering support for his budget plans. A number of officials have called for Paterson to resign including Sen. Bill Perkins who currently holds Paterson’s former senate seat.
The state is drowning in debt and most agree that the budget needs serious trimming. But without strong leadership it seems unlikely that legislators will coalesce around a strong package of cuts.
A number of legislators have been pressing for Paterson to allow Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch to head up budget negotiations. In fact, legislators were calling for Ravitch to take over for Paterson in budget negotiations before the recent scandal broke.By David King on February 26, 2010, 3:45 pm
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