So that story about Governor Paterson’s allegedly abusive, druggie driver-adviser was not actually the Times bombshell we’ve all been waiting for. The real bombshell was released today, and it is does not portray Paterson in a very friendly light. Let’s break down all of the ways he’s a bad governor:
Paterson is a terrible manager of people: He doesn’t take interest in the work of his appointees, and he ignored a dozen meeting requests from his commissioner of economic development, who eventually quit. Some of his “senior policy advisers feel shunned” by his increasing isolation and reliance on his driver-adviser and his former roommate. He hired his ex-girlfriend, a woman with no policy experience, to a key post in his Washington office, resulting in the resignations of other, more seasoned staffers.
• Paterson isn’t a hard worker: His day lasts from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. Paterson says he spends his morning memorizing speeches.
• Paterson is flaky: He doesn’t show up to events and cancels appearances at the last minute for made-up reasons, like, an, uh, “emergency terrorism briefing” that probably never happened.
• Paterson spends money he doesn’t have: Though his campaign war chest is shockingly low for an incumbent, Paterson frequently blows hundreds of dollars at fancy restaurants, where he holds “campaign meetings or fund-raising events.” One time he dropped $1,800 at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota, Florida.
So, how bad is this for Paterson? Though the story rakes him over the coals for any number of bad practices, it also doesn’t reveal anything very scandalous. For a popular governor who already commanded the respect of the electorate, such an unflattering profile could be devastating. But for Paterson, in light of his already weak reputation, as well as all the hype leading up to the story, it really could be worse.