David Paterson: ‘I’m Blind, But I’m Not Oblivious’

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One of our conservative friends who regularly sends out those e-mail forwards you hear the Obama administration complain about so frequently sent us a political cartoon last week that we think pretty much everyone can agree with. The punchline was, basically, "If a man yells 'You Lie!' in a room full of politicians, how do they know who he's talking to?" It's such a basic assumption that our leaders regularly stretch the truth as a matter of course that probably most people would see the humor in this. But over the past year, as we've listened to the statements of our own state leader, Governor David Paterson, we're beginning to wonder whether he breaks the mold. Sure, he's lied to us (See: Kennedy, Caroline — Political Ruination of). But his general instinct seems usually to be to share what's truly in his heart. To overshare, even. Take last week, when he and his wife were brutally honest about their feelings at getting rejected by the Obama administration. (Paterson even admitted he never wanted to be governor, but hoped to maybe replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate.) Or when he let slip his fears that some of his critics in the media might be racist. He even once told us here at Daily Intel about the nightmares that were keeping him awake during this troubled summer up in Albany.

Yesterday, Paterson made a brief appearance on Meet the Press to talk about the whole "The White House wants me to not run for governor" thing. He seems pretty sad about it (he even shaved for this appearance, like it was a funeral or something), but wouldn't out anybody specifically for telling him to drop out. "The president has never told me not to run for governor," he said, in something of a pout. "I think that the people of New York are the ones that should choose their governor." And then he said the line that stuck with us all day yesterday:

The White House has a country to run and I have a state to run, and there's politics that go on all the time. I’m blind, but I’m not oblivious. I realize that there are people who don’t want me to run. But let me just tell you at the outset: I am running for governor in 2010.

There are some people that would argue that he is, in fact, pretty oblivious. If we thought he was some political blowhard, the fact that he knows people think he's idiotically ignoring the writing on the wall would probably give us some satisfaction. But in this case, we just wish he'd stop being so honest. Keep some things to yourself, Mr. Governor! A little mystery never hurt anybody. And remember, voters may not be likely to vote for someone who makes them frustrated, but they're even less likely to vote for someone who makes them sad.