New York Governor David Paterson, who ascended to office when a prostitution scandal forced Eliot Spitzer to resign, is beating back intense pressure from president Barack Obama and other fellow Democrats worried that he won’t be able to defeat a Republican challenger next year.
Patterson is making it clear that he will run for office, regardless of the pressure.
Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Obama had asked Paterson to step aside. The president’s political-affairs director met with Paterson in recent days to “express concern” about Paterson’s poll numbers. Officially, although still off-the-record, the administration says it stopped short of asking Paterson not to run. That’s pretty much what they have to say so long as Paterson refuses to step aside.
Paterson is deeply unpopular in New York, especially when compared with his Democratic rival New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. The governor enjoys only a 20% approval ratings, compared with Cuomo’s 69% approval. Cuomo has gained traction with the public by vocally criticising and investigating bankers in the aftermath of the financial crisis and government bailout.
The Obama administration is worried that Paterson may lose the race to a Republican challenger, especially if former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani runs.
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