Does Senate pick put Paterson at risk?

January 26, 2009 3:44:35 PM PST
The latest poll shows Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani within striking distance of Gov. David Paterson in matchups for the 2010 race for governor. New York's new junior Senator isn't catching nearly as much flak as the man who anointed her. The public has clearly soured on Governor David Paterson.

Perhaps it's the way his team treated Caroline Kennedy. Maybe it's a barrage of awful headlines in virtually every newspaper for five days running. Whatever the reason, Paterson's now almost tied with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, 35 to 33 percent. A month ago in this primary match-up for governor, Paterson had a 23 point lead.

"You have ups and downs in public service. You have to keep working, keep trying, keeping doing your best," Paterson said on Monday.

It has been five days since Caroline Kennedy pulled her name from consideration, but for the governor the questions just keep coming, like who spread all that nasty gossip about Kennedy?

"I would love to know who is responsible, but at this point I have been unable to determine that," he said.

Last week, Paterson's team trashed Kennedy with rumors of marriage woes and tax problems.

Today, Paterson seemed befuddled by how things spun so out of control.

"But there have been leaks coming from my administration throughout the entire process of choosing a Senate," Paterson explained.

For our new Senator-in-waiting, all the heat on Paterson means the limelight is not so much on her.

"It's okay. These things are never as graceful as you want them to be, but it doesn't matter because at the end of the day people will start focusing on the real issue," Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand said.

Surprisingly, in the middle of all this controversy and right as a 15-billion budget deficit looms, Paterson had planned to fly to Switzerland on the public dime. On Monday, he announced that trip was cancelled.

"When I heard the question and I thought it over, I thought perhaps it would be a better idea to go another time, send a couple of assistants and stay right here with the leaders of the legislature and work on the budget," he said.


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