According to the Times, which is saying that “two senior administration officials and a New York Democratic operative with direct knowledge of the situation” told them so. The request supposedly originated with “political advisors to Obama” who requested anonymity so the discussion between the White House and the Governor would remain confidential, except for leaking to the Times.
Also discreet: “many Democratic leaders” who are scared of a Giuliani gubernatorial run, “leading Democrats in the state” who just don’t think Paterson’s likely to win, and “a prominent Democrat who discussed the matter with a senior White House official,” who says it’s because Obama’s still pissed off that Paterson picked Gillibrand over Caroline Kennedy.
According to the Times, the message is supposed to have been passed along to Paterson by Gregory Meeks. According to the News, Meeks namechecked Rahm Emanuel. Neither Paterson nor Meeks is talking.
The News is also reporting that the same request was passed along to Paterson more privately by White House Political Affairs director Patrick Gaspard earlier in the week. Gaspard is said to have made the call distancing the White House from Paterson’s comments on race last month.
Obama’s intervention is, according to both papers, on behalf of Andy Cuomo, and is supposed to inoculate Cuomo against memories of his 2002 race against Carl McCall, which didn’t go well (his relationship with the Obama campaign during the primaries last year could have been smoother too).
Cuomo and Paterson are both on the guest list for Obama’s speech at Hudson Valley Community College on Monday.