News & Politics

Governor Paterson Still Disinclined to Quit; Opponents Start Fluffing Richard Ravitch


Once the political establishment has gotten David Paterson not to run again, they turned their attention (as we noticed on Saturday) to getting him to quit. Paterson this morning reiterated: Nothing doing.

The Andrew Cuomo probe of Paterson’s alleged girl-abusing aide David Johnson doesn’t affect him, the governor said, and indicated that, though he was aware of the multiple requests for him to indulge the press’ resignation wish fulfillment (“I spent the whole Super Bowl trying to dispel rumors that I was resigning the next day over what, I have no idea”), he would not go along with the gag.

So the custodians of conventional wisdom have turned to making the prospect of a Paterson-free future look like a new Golden Age.

The Times did its bit this weekend by fluffing Paterson’s appointed Lieutenant Governor, Richard Ravitch. The mighty Ravitch works long days, said the report, and “if he occasionally closed his eyes, it was only to think up another question nobody saw coming.” Contrast that with the famously work-shy Paterson.

Josh Goodman even suggests that appointing Ravitch might be something Paterson “regrets,” as it increases everyone’s comfort level with the prospect of his resignation. So why not just tell Paterson that an open elevator shaft is the door to the cocaine orgy, and let this “throwback to a time when wise men ruled New York” be in charge?

Maybe because Paterson, for all his faults, really is all that stands between Albany and the utter chaos to which its power-mad players would succumb in the event of a sudden power vacuum. Though the courts finally backed Paterson on Ravitch’s appointment, such niceties probably won’t prevent Pedro Espada — architect of the Albany Coup, under shadow of investigation, and next in line for the governorship — from challenging the decision should Ravitch ascend, maybe by the same kind of tactics he used to paralyze the state senate last year.

In fact, given how little real taste we see in the governor for power, maybe that’ll be his last fuck-you to Albany — to resign at some critical juncture, and then sit back and enjoy the spectacle of democracy in action.


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