early and often

Five Questions With Governor David Paterson

David Paterson

Photo: Getty Images

After Sunday’s TimesTalk with David Paterson, we cornered the lovable gov for a few quick questions. Times writer Matt Bai had asked him some good ones (we now know that Paterson is a Mets fan, that he likes both Hillary and Barack, and that his first reaction upon hearing about his predecessor’s sex scandal was to pray, both for Spitzer and himself). But we wanted to know the real dish. As in, has he talked to Silda lately? Below, our Jana Winter speaks with Paterson:

You touched on this before, regarding what you’ve said to the media. Do you think there’s such a thing as oversharing? Do you think maybe you’ve said too much? I mean, obviously there was so much pressure at that time—
Well, I think I did say too much. And I think one of the issues is that nobody ever accepts your answer in the media so it just gives way to a feeding frenzy. So for instance, a couple of weeks ago now, I reveal my taxes and there’s no law that says I have to reveal my taxes, but I wanted to people to see it but then they started asking me about charitable donations now I have an answer to that, and it’s an answer that I can prove also, but I’m not going to give it because that just opens the door for more questions.

Have you spoken to Spitzer since you’ve been in office?
Yes. I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago. He was quite pleased that the budget got passed. He’s happy that we’re so interested in, um, having an endowment for higher education. He was real glad that we got the health insurance for all of the children in the state, and he was very happy that we had the change in the reimbursement policy for heath-care institutions, a process known as rebasing, and he told me about that and, uh, he didn’t say too much about what he was going to be doing and oh, what was that — it was a nice conversation — I also talked to Silda.

That was going to be my next question, if you’d talked to Silda…
She was very sweet to me.

Once she got on the phone she goes [in funny, drawn out sultry voice] “Go-ver-nor.” Very sweet — well, she’s always been a sweet person to me and, um, with all that she’s been through, it meant a lot to me to hear her kind of play like this as we would do a lot of the times we would see each other.

If this all this slush-fund stuff keeps Christine Quinn out of the upcoming mayoral race, out of the following possible likely candidates who do you think you’d be in support of: Bill Thompson, Anthony Weiner, but also Ray Kelly and your old childhood friend Scott Stringer?
I mean, they’re all very good candidates. I’m not going to pick between any of them because they’re all very helpful to me. That’s the job of voters in a primary.

Five Questions With Governor David Paterson