Rod Blagojevich may be a complete looney tune, but when it came to picking someone to fill Illinois’ Senate vacancy he did a far better job than New York Gov. David Paterson.
What an awful, wretched performance by Paterson.
So now we have an N.R.A. handmaiden in Bobby Kennedy’s old seat? Kirsten Gillibrand, a k a Tracy Flick, accepting the honor with her Republican pal Al D’Amato beside her on stage?....
Paterson could have acted a month ago, or even a week ago. There was no reason not to, certainly not his claim that he had to wait for Hillary, ad nauseam, to exit to State. Colorado’s governor named Michael Bennet senator two and a half weeks before Ken Salazar resigned his seat for the Interior Department.
Then the Democrats would have had another Kennedy in the Senate representing New York — Bobby’s niece and a smart, policy-oriented, civic-minded woman to whom the president feels deeply indebted in an era when every state has its hand out.
Instead they have Gillibrand, who voted against the Wall Street — as in New York — bailout bill. And who introduced a bill to balance the federal budget annually, which suggests she would oppose the $825 billion in deficit spending that President Obama proposes to rescue the country, not least New York.
Paterson’s five weeks of dithering let the jealous vindictiveness of the Clintons and friends — still fuming over Caroline’s endorsement of Obama and Teddy’s blocking Hillary from a leading health care role in the Senate — poison the air. With his usual sense of entitlement and aggrievement, Bill Clinton of Arkansas did not want Caroline Kennedy of New York to have the seat that Hillary Clinton of Illinois held.
Paterson wasn’t thinking of New York, only of how an upstate ally who was a woman would bolster his own chances for re-election. We can only hope that an avenging Andrew Cuomo takes him out in a primary.
Paterson comes out of this looking much more the fool than Blago. And New York will pay the price with much, much less power and influence in the Senate than they did have or than what they could have had.