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David Paterson’s Attention-Getting Strategy

The lieutenant governor wanted to raise his profile. Then he got a promotion.

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Two weeks ago, David Paterson was a frustrated lieutenant governor: There wasn’t much for him to do. “He’d been pretty much cut off,” says a Spitzer administration source. “If he did attend meetings, David wasn’t fully integrated.” So last month he scheduled a meeting with Bill Lynch, the Harlem political consultant and former deputy mayor under David Dinkins. “The point of the meeting was, ‘Look, where do we go from here?,’ ” says Lynch. He and Paterson had come up with a fix for the politician’s dilemma. “The solution was, ‘Let’s raise your national profile,’ ” Lynch says. The two devised a plan for Paterson to give speeches around the country on national issues, capitalizing on his status as one of the country’s very few African-Americans elected to high office. “We thought this was the right idea,” Lynch says.

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