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Spitzer’s Peace With Paterson

Running mate no longer running away.

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With the election just over a week away, negotiations are finishing up to end the tussle between Eliot Spitzer and his running mate, David Paterson. After the eruption of “turf wars” on the campaign trail between staffers and complaining that his staff was getting “frozen out” by Spitzerites, Paterson says he went to see Spitzer a few months ago to discuss pulling out. “I told him, in essence, do we still want to do this?” But Spitzer wasn’t interested in finding another running mate. So they decided to work things out. In addition to keeping pet issues like stem-cell research his own, Paterson says he’s now secured a place on Spitzer’s transition team, with the gov-to-be allowing Paterson to help interview potential appointees and transition leaders and generally provide “input,” Paterson says, “not [make] decisions.” Paterson compared Spitzer’s leadership style with that of Ronald Reagan. “He’s very directed. Very decision-oriented.” A Spitzer spokeswoman says the Reagan analogy “hits the nail on the head,” adding that Spitzer “knows when to be hands on, knows when to be hands off.”

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