Eliot Spitzer, Governor of New York State just resigned as the governor and David Paterson will now take his place. Will there be collateral damage from this move? Undoubtedly!
Lieutenant Governor Paterson will now become, not only the first African American governor of New York, but will also become the first legally blind governor in the country.This was stunning news, which broke on the eve of Barack Obama's landslide victory in Mississippi.
As this story devolps it changes the political landscape depriving Hillary Clinton of one more Superdelegate.What is she to do, with backers like Governor Spitzer, who former Mayor Kotch described as "having a screw loose" on CNN last night? And of course, Geraldine Ferraro who refuses to apologize for her racially charged remarks regarding Senator Obama.
It has been a contention of many of Hillary's detractors that she would have a polarizing effect on the government and the country, as a whole. Well, I dare say this may be the tip of the iceberg. As the old saying goes, "birds of a feather, flock together."
In order to belie this thought Senator Clinton needs to not only distance herself from Governor Spitzer, while rejecting and denouncing his actions, but also do the same with Ms. Ferraro.
At this point she has refused to "denounce and reject" the actions of Governor Spitzer. She also has refused to "denounce and reject" former Congresswoman Ferraro, one of her major fund raisers. This puts her in the awkward position of now having to defend the racist statements of Ms. Ferraro. At the same time comparisons have already been made, which will dog her on the campaign trail for some time to come, in regards to the Lewinsky scandal of former President Bill Clinton and the Spitzer affair.
This is bound to bring into question her ability to make good judgments in the course of governing the country and making cabinet appointments. It's also not going to do anything to help her recover her African American base, nor will it endear her to the women's rights activists.
As we saw in the Mississippi primary last night her base has been seriously eroded, as Barack Obama took the lion's portion of the youth vote, middle aged adults, African Americans and white women. This leaves Hillary and John McCain with older white men as their base.The closer we get to the convention the more polarized the electorate is becoming.
Senator Obama is the only candidate showing signs of being able to bring together any kind of coalition. Even if he is not able to bring together this same coalition in the south, like he did in the north and the west, he's a good antidote to the polarizing effect of Senator Clinton.
Governor David Paterson will be installed this upcoming Monday. He currently resides in Harlem and was Lieutenant Governor of New York prior to today's announcement.
- "David A. Paterson was born May 20th 1954 in Brooklyn, NY to Portia and Basil Paterson, the first non-white Secretary of State in New York and the first African-American Vice-Chair of the National Democratic Party. The Lt. Governor earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Columbia University in 1977, and completed his J.D. at Hofstra Law School in 1982. He continues to give back to his alma mater by serving as an adjunct professor at Columbia’s School for International and Public Affairs. David Paterson lives in Harlem with his wife, Michelle Paige Paterson, and their two children, Ashley and Alex. Ashley entered Ithaca College in Fall 2006, and Alex attends public school in New York City."
He'll be taking over the governors office only 14 months after being sworn in as lieutenant governor following a landslide victory. We wish him well and pray that he does a good job in his new position.