David Paterson’s Race Card Didn’t Work Out That Well


After Governor David Paterson unleashed the race card on Friday, one of his staffers got a call from White House political director Patrick Gaspard. See, Paterson had decided to use President Obama’s experience as part of the evidence for his theory that the media is biased against black leaders. That’s not a controversy that Obama — who just got out of his own racial kerfuffle, after all — wants to be a part of in any way, which is what Gaspard told the aide. The papers were similarly unkind — both the Post and the Daily News ran editorials refuting Paterson’s claims.

Despite the rebukes, Paterson only somewhat backtracked during an interview with Gerson Borrero of the Borrero Report over the weekend. While Paterson clarified, “I don’t think the media has acted in a racist way, but I have felt stereotyped at times,” he also doubled-down in others ways. He told Borrero that “some people get nervous” when they see too many “very successful minorities” and that the term “accidental governor” was, suspiciously, being applied only to him and not, say, white unelected governors like New Jersey’s Dick Codey and Connecticut’s Jody Rell. Paterson has made the claim before. And it was already shown to be completely untrue, so it’s odd that he’s reverting to it once again.

Meanwhile, a new Siena Poll, taken before the race card was deployed, has Paterson losing to Andrew Cuomo in a primary by 42 percent, with black voters preferring Cuomo by twenty points.