Thursday, September 24, 2009

NY to Obama: Get Outta Here!

Earlier this week, I wrote two blog entries that criticize President Obama's decision to push New York Governor David Paterson out of the 2010 election. Paterson has very low approval ratings, and polls show that he would lose to virtually every Republican contender.

Although many of my liberal colleagues disagree with my assessment of the situation, New Yorkers share a similar view. According to a newly released Marist College Poll, 62% of New York voters say that the White House was wrong. This sentiment exists across party affiliation: 51% of Democrats, 77% of Republicans and 64% of Independents believe Obama was wrong to inject himself into the state election. Furthermore, even when pollsters told voters to consider that Paterson could hurt the Democratic ticket, more voters -- including more Democrats -- still believed that Obama acted inappropriately.

Ta da. It is clear. New Yorkers might hate Paterson, but they get to decide whether to keep or discard him.

See: Marist Poll Summary; Marist Poll Data.


PostBourgie said...

It was NY Dems who asked the White House to step in in the first place:

The White House asked New York Gov. David Paterson to step aside at least in part because the administration was asked to intervene by members of Congress and state legislators who raised serious alarms about a potential Paterson drag on the ticket in 2010.

The issue is no small matter in a state with an appointed senator running statewide for the first time in 2010 and more than a half-dozen vulnerable House Democrats — including five freshmen.

According to interviews with New York Democrats, the request for intervention came from both Albany and Washington, where Paterson’s precarious political standing unnerved many officeholders who are worried about the prospect of running in a midterm election with a deeply unpopular incumbent at the top of the ballot.

“Clearly, the situation in New York is unusual and requires leadership at a greater level than anyone in New York can provide,” said Rep. Dan Maffei, a first-term Democrat who occupies a seat in upstate New York. “I, for one, welcome the president’s involvement.”

Read more:

Complaint Department Manager said...

Perhaps I am showing ignorance here, but does New York have a primary to which Patterson would run against another Democrat? I'd hate to think that Guliani would have no real competition in the general election.

liberal dissent said...

CDM: Yes, it does have a primary system, but NY Democratic primaries are notorious for damaging every candidate in them, even the eventual winners. That's one reason D'Amato stayed Senator for so long, and might be why the White House is trying to step in.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Post Bourgie: Perhaps friends of Andy Cuomo asked the president to intervene. If they were powerful enough to ask the President,then they could have asked Paterson himself -- unless, of course, they were members of the opposition camp. In any event, I do not care if/whether NY Dems made the request. Clearly, these individuals were not representing the views of the people they serve.

Complaint Dept: To me, that's what makes this stupid. NY has a primary. Obama wanted to make it impossible for Paterson to compete in the primary. That's heavy handed.

LS: I don't buy it. Sorry, I am too cynical. This smells like Chicago to me. Paterson snubbed Obama, and he's paying the price. Patrick is doing poorly in Mass. I suspect he will not get invited to look for another job.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

LS: One more point: that was the same argument that Obama's handlers used to try and shove Clinton out of the Democratic primaries.

liberal dissent said...

Darren: Granted, not saying it's a legitimate point of view or always the case, just saying that NY primaries seem especially prone to it. And honestly, whatever Obama's flaws, he doesn't seem prone to having an enemies list. And there is no doubt in my mind that Clinton would have done the same thing if their roles were reversed.

Complaint Department Manager said...

Ah, had to make sure. I do see L.D.'s point, rest assured and it's a good one. But, I do side with Darren on this. I think they ought to let the best candidate win. Even in primaries, it's going to get ugly, but that's all the more reason to get that crap out and get it out of the way. I'd rather have a democratic opponent raise an issue than have a republican rival bring it up later in the general election when time is not on your side and even the most proper of responses made will not resonate with the public. Best to get it out and over with.

Thanks for the info L.D. and Darren.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Liberal Dissent: Obama doesn't keep an enemies list???? Really. Don't they all? Also, think Rahm Emanuel. He supposedly is the architect of this "state involvment" strategy, and he is known for hard political play. Finally, even if Clinton had done this, I imagine she would not have let it slip out to the public. Most sources say that Obama's side was the source of the leak -- not Paterson, which is, of course, impossible for me to verify.

liberal dissent said...

Darren: My view of Obama is that he has this view of himself as someone who can transcend the whole political fighting thing; it's not necessarily a good thing, it's just another symptom of a healthy ego, just like the enemies list. And Emanuel comes off as too pragmatic (in a very icy, implacable way) in my view to really care about getting back at the administration's "enemies," especially where Paterson's purported sin just wasn't that major. I just can't see them getting that worked up about Caroline Kennedy, whatever political debts they think they owe the Kennedy family. I also see so many drawbacks coming from being perceived as pressuring a black governor to drop out, that I don't think it would be worth letting it be known. Almost no advantage, and so many disadvantages possible.

The Gaucho Politico said...

Hmm actually i think that Obama is perfectly in line with the actual view of the people of new york and so are those who asked him to step in.

More than six in ten voters — 63% — do not want Paterson to continue his gubernatorial quest. Just 25% would like to see Paterson make a bid.

So basically they just dont want the national party to tread on state politics. They dont want him to run either. its like when people rip on their family for being stupid but defending the stupidity when it comes from an outsider. Only i can call my sister stupid!

It is clear that people generally dont want paterson to run. maybe those who asked him to step in did so because he is also black so that they could avoid looking like a bunch of white elites trying to bounce the black guy and thus validating racial charges paterson leveled. maybe they did it cause they are gutless. there are a lot of reasons they might have tried to call in the head of the party on this.

i think the payback line of argument is being made too much of in this series of posts.

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