The Ex-Governors Club
From the Capital Tonight morning memo:
Being governor of a diverse state like New York is not an easy job and perhaps that’s why former Gov. David Paterson isn’t keen on trashing his old boss Eliot Spitzer, when endorsing his rival Scott Stringer in the race for New York City comptroller.
“They have this rule that they setup this week that if you endorse Scott Stringer you have to explain what’s wrong with Eliot Spitzer,” Paterson said on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter on Tuesday. “And I’m not playing that game with them.”
Paterson endorsed Stringer earlier in the year before Spitzer’s surprise entry into the race. Spitzer’s resignation in the midst of a prostitution scandal elevated Paterson, the lieutenant governor, to become the first black governor of New York.
But Paterson’s tenure in Albany was rocky at best as he managed an ongoing fiscal crisis and a difficult Legislature. In a radio interview, Paterson blasted the New York City media for giving his old boss a tough time.
“The New York Times, the New York Post and The Daily News have decided not only are they going to endorse Scott Stringer but they are totally humiliate and just destroy the image of Eliot Spitzer,” Paterson charged
Spitzer left office in March 2008 with few fans. But while Republican former Governor George Pataki isn’t a Spitzer fan either, he gave a short and somewhat polite answer when asked about Spitzer’s candidacy.
“I don’t have a vote in the Democratic primary for comptroller. But if I did it would not be for Eliot Spitzer,” Pataki said with some hesitation at an event for Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis.
As he answered the question about Spitzer’s candidacy, he slowly edged away from the podium.
As for Spitzer himself, the former governor doesn’t begrudge Paterson backing Stringer.
“David is a friend and David has been a friend for many, many years,” the former governor told NY1′s Zack Fink. “We’ve served in government together. I’ve known him and respected him when he was lieutenant governor when I was governor what he tried to do when he was governor.”
The power of individual endorsements is also questionable, especially in a city when backing from labor organizations with a strong get-out-the-vote operation can make the real difference in a campaign.
But Paterson’s backing gives Stringer a high-profile black supporter as he struggles to gain votes with African-American and Latino voters.
“Endorsements are endorsements and I think the public understands what they are,” Spitzer said. “To state what is almost a cliche but it’s true, the only endorsement I want is on September 10.”
As for the current governor, well, it remains to be seen if he’ll endorse in the city comptroller’s race by next month’s primary.
If he does become publicly involved, it would likely be last minute.
Andrew Cuomo has a tendency to make his endorsements at the close of a campaign, especially if it appears the recipient has a clear path to victory. For now, that is anything but the case for Stringer.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on August 21, 2013 at 10:29 am, and is filed under 2013. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|