Desperate situations call for desperate measures, and Governor David Paterson has unveiled two campaign ads in which, over melancholy piano music, we are told about all the people who don’t think he should run in 2010, and the mistakes he’s made since ascending to the office after Eliot Spitzer’s resignation.
“Some say I shouldn’t be running for Governor,” begins Paterson in one ad. He then tells us who, besides voters, has been saying this: “Some state legislators said that when I forced them to close $30 billion of deficit.” Also, “some union leaders” and “some big corporations” to whom he made similar unwanted suggestions. “It might have been easier if all I thought about was running for governor,” he concludes. “But I think it’s more important to do what’s right for the people of New York.”
The second ad, with an outside narrator, begins with squiggly white lines. “When this is what you see of the world,” goes the V/O in an apparent reference to Paterson’s blindness, “you learn to listen”…
Black-and-white scenes are shown from Paterson’s life — including the future Governor as a boy with his father Basil, former deputy mayor of New York City and Secretary of the State of New York, who is unshaven and wearing a white T-shirt. “When your family moves so you can attend a mainstream school,” intones the narrator, “you learn to be strong.” Paterson also learns to excel (in school), and that “you will make mistakes” (when your boss resigns because of prostitutes and you are suddenly elevated from obscurity to Governor). “But,” the V/O continues, “in the depths of an historic recession” — foreclosure sign, weary stock trader — “you take what you have learned, and have the strength to do what’s right for the people of New York” — Paterson on the phone, with a flag.
Message: You’d have fucked up too. And which of these other scoundrels do you think can do better? (As it stands, Andrew Cuomo, most Democrats would say; but there’ll be time enough to deal with that after Paterson has convinced voters he’s serious about running.)