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N.Y. Gov. Paterson blames unpopularity on his skin

August 21, 2009 |  7:12 pm

Two New York Democrats state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo left and Governor David Paterson

New York's Democratic Gov. David Paterson has figured out why his popularity there has declined from the heady days when the lieutenant governor succeeded sex scandal-plagued fellow Democrat Eliot Spitzer.

Paterson told a radio interviewer today it's because he's black and there aren't enough black media outlets to counter the white ones. He also suggested the same racist forces will soon take after President Barack Obama.

After a period of high popularity, Paterson has fallen on hard political times in the Empire State, drawing severe criticism even from key fellow Democrats for how he's run state government and handled the state's budget problems and even for the on-again-off-again nomination of Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton's vacant Senate seat.

Paterson's approval rating plummeted to 18% at one point, below even Republican President George W. Bush and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but has since crept back up to 30%. A humorous and unscientific online poll with the Daily News on this gubernatorial outburst shows 2% agree with Paterson, 1% is undecided and 97% want him out of office "because he stinks."

"My feeling is it's being orchestrated. It's a game. And people who pay attention know that," Paterson told N.Y. Daily News columnist Errol Lewis today.

According to state Sen. Kevin Parker, a fellow Democrat and African American from Brooklyn: "He's given the media more than enough to feed on with the incompetence shown in his administration."

Paterson said the goal is to force him out of an election campaign next year. Polls have shown that state Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo would annihilate Paterson in a primary struggle. On the Republican side, there's always ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press (Cuomo, left, Paterson, right).
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