In a dimly lit room on Hofstra's campus in Hempstead, New York, Governor David Paterson declared his intention to seek a full four-year term as governor and boldly predicted that he'll win. In a speech to about 300 people, Paterson explained that he would be the best person to lead New York through its economic crisis and began painting himself as the underdog:
"I wanted to come back to here to Hempstead, which is where I was taught to stand up for myself, and to believe in myself," Mr. Paterson said, "in spite of all the voices around me: You can't play sports—you're blind. You can't go to law school—you’re handicapped. You can’t go into public service—you’re disabled."
An incumbent positioning himself as the underdog may seem odd, but in this instance it's totally appropriate. Sure Paterson is the only candidate to declare his intention to run, but as soon as the better-funded and better-liked Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announces his inevitable candidacy, Paterson will have to continue reminding people of his scrappy story if he wants to stand a chance. If he doesn't want to stand a chance, he should remind them of his past two years as governor.