The feud between New York Governor David Paterson and the White House took a turn for the worse today with Gov. Patterson essentially telling reporters at Columbia University that Obama’s just cranky because he hasn’t accomplished jack (emphasis mine):
I understand the president’s concern, but I understand the concern of staff members at the White House. If you look at it from their perspective, they haven’t exactly been able to govern in the first year of their administration the way other administrations have, where you would theoretically have a period in which the new administration is allowed to pass some of the needed legislation.
Every state accepted stimulus money – some said they weren’t, but all accepted stimulus money – it was shocking that the vote on the stimulus money for the ARRA went along party lines. Here, with the healthcare legislation, they’re talking about negotiating to get one Republican senator to vote with them – they can’t get one Republican?
It’s not them, it just seems to be the point of view that: what we’re gonna do, in the middle of a recession – and it’s a good thing that neither of the political parties were thinking of doing this in the Great Depression – but in the middle of the recession is: ‘we’re going to leave off, sit around, and blame the other side.’ See, it’s all “their fault.”
So – from their perspective, losing any exec seats, losing any Cong. Seats, losing any seats in the State Senate is very important. I think that you see in order to accomplish their healthcare plan, their energy plan, the other ideas that they have for America that really are transformative – they’ve had to look at who is going to be voting, who can help them. So I don’t have a problem with the fact that they would look to different states to try to get that assistance.
Ouch, as much as it pains me to defend Pres. Obama he accomplished a little more than Gov. Paterson is giving him credit for. Sure, his signature issues, health care reform and cap and trade, are wallowing in Congress but he has had some legislative success.
Allahpundit thinks Gov. Paterson’s remarks are a dig at Republicans more they are at Pres. Obama:
As much as it grieves me to defend The One, (a) is this really a knock on him? It sounds like Paterson’s blaming congressional turmoil on the GOP’s recalcitrance, “party of no” and all that jazz. If he wanted to rub Obama’s face in the deadlock, he would have knocked him for not having a strong enough hold on his own party to iron out a compromise between Blue Dogs and progressives.
He may be right but you could also argue that it’s a dig at the President for acting more like the Salesman in Chief than the Commander in Chief. Pres. Obama has much of his term traveling around the country trying to sell his agenda to an increasingly skeptical public rather then working with Congressional leaders to craft a commonsense health care reform plan that could win broad bipartisan support. At some point the President has to stop selling and start leading. Right now he’s still campaigning.
Regardless one can hardly blame the President and his advisers for trying to nudge Gov. Paterson toward the exit… Simply put he’s an electoral disaster. Think I’m joking? Just take a look at the polling, if New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is the Democratic nominee for governor next year, he beats former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani by 13 points. If Paterson’s the nominee, Giuliani wins by 17 points… In a head to head in primary match-up, Cuomo crushes Paterson by 46 points.