This Whole Mess the State Is In Is Really Hard on David Paterson’s Dad

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Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Today the Times examines how David Paterson's continuing political and public-relations disasters are weighing on his father, a veteran politician and power player in New York Democratic circles. "Basil is one of the singularly most talented, sophisticated, subtle people I know, and is very wise to the world generally and to the political world in particular," explains fellow Dem operative Harold Ickes. "He watches this with very deep, deep concern first and foremost because of the son that he loves." But does he believe in him?

The Times dredges up an anecdote they first told back in 2008:


On March 10, 2008, David Paterson, then lieutenant governor, was unwrapping a curried chicken takeout lunch in the State Capitol when the governor’s office called to say that Gov. Eliot Spitzer had become embroiled in a prostitution scandal. Mr. Paterson immediately called his father. “Well,” Basil Paterson advised, “you say a prayer.”

“I’ve already said a prayer for Eliot,” the son replied.

“That’s good,” the father said. “Now you’d better say one for yourself.”

Well, at least someone has his back.

Trying Times for Father of New York’s Governor [NYT]