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N.Y. Gov. David Paterson won't run, to the White House's relief

New York Gov. David Paterson by AP
The White House pushed, hinted, suggested, cajoled and otherwise tried to send the message to embattled New York Gov. David Paterson that he should get out of the race.

Now, he has, with various news sources reporting he is going to serve out his term, which ends in January, but won't seek a new term.

(UPDATE: Democrat Paterson confirmed the reports Friday. He's out.)

Paterson has been under fire in recent days for having contacted a woman who accused one of his top aides of domestic violence.

But that is hardly his first brush with controversy. Paterson inherited the governor's office after fellow Democrat Eliot Spitzer resigned in a prostitution scandal. With Paterson's poll numbers down and amid grumbling about his ineffectiveness, the White House sent word to Albany in September that perhaps Paterson could fall on his sword for the party.

As The Ticket reported at the time, New York's First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson blasted President Obama for the backroom push, saying it was wrong for the White House to get involved. "David's the first African American governor in the state of New York and he's being asked to get out of the race. It's very unusual and it seems very unfair," she told the New York Post. "I never heard of a president asking a governor not to run.... I don't think it's right."

But the current scandal -- in which Paterson reportedly called a woman who was about to testify against one of his top aides -- was the tipping point.

The biggest winner from today's decision? Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo, the darling of the Democratic left and the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, who can now go for it without a bruising or expensive Democratic primary.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Gov. David Paterson; credit: Associated Press.

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"David's the first African American governor in the state of New York and he's being asked to get out of the race. It's very unusual and it seems very unfair,"

I already see where this is going - playing the good old fashioned race card.

It doesn't matter what his ethnicity is - if he's a lousy governor he shouldn't be in office.

Why does the L.A. Times continue to think that New York news should be the primary headline on a Los Angeles news website?

( 1) This isn't the LATimes newspaper. 2) It's a national politics online blog with an international following. And the scandal in that major state is of interest. Nobody's stopping you from not reading it. But thanks anyway.)

Having been given complete power from the American people and squandered it so foolishly, it is right that it be taken back from the Democrats by the people.

Perhaps the next group in power will take the needs of their constituents more seriously and be less concerned about the naked power grabbing of their disaffected splinter groups.

This railroading is quite the thing today and nobody wants to take responsibility for it. But every body has a day some several just pay close attention to how you handle the tracks because everybody else is O MY!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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