Paterson: Hillary showing 'desperation'

May 22, 2008 5:11:03 PM PDT
New York Gov. David Paterson, a superdelegate who supports Hillary Rodham Clinton, said she's showing "a little desperation" and should give up her effort to count votes from renegade primaries in Michigan and Florida.Paterson said Thursday that Clinton shouldn't derail the process by which the national Democratic Party stripped Michigan and Florida of their national convention delegates because they moved their primaries up to January in violation of party rules. The rules were agreed to by all the candidates, including Clinton, before she won the two January contests. Because of the violations, no candidates campaigned in either state and her rival Barack Obama took his name off Michigan's ballot.

"I would say at this point we're starting to see a little desperation on the part of a woman I still support and will support until she makes a different determination," Paterson told WAMC-FM radio. "Candidates have to be cautious in their zeal to win that they don't trample on the process."

Paterson said he doubted his home-state senator would get the edge over Obama, even if the two states' votes were counted.

Seating both groups in the way most favorable to Clinton would still leave her trailing Obama in the delegate count, because his lead is now almost 200 delegates.

A Clinton spokesman declined comment.

Paterson said he wouldn't agree with Clinton supporters who say her effort to capture the Michigan and Florida votes is akin to a civil rights fight. No candidates objected to the decision by party leaders to penalize the states, Paterson noted.

Paterson played a prominent role in Clinton's campaign before he replaced Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned after being identified in a prostitution investigation. Now New York's first black governor, Paterson continues to appeal on Clinton's behalf to black voters who are drawn to Obama, who could become the nation's first black president.