The second day of The Wall Street Journal’s new “Metro” section brings a piece that essentially just consists of a bunch of different quotes gleaned from a “70-minute” interview the paper conducted with David Paterson, in which the governor sounds off on “the organized smear campaign” against him and says that his successor is doomed to fail. While the paper tries to peg his comments to something (“[Paterson’s] remarks come at a pivotal moment for New York”), it reads as if the Journal basically just showed up and offered a shoulder for the governor to cry on after being attacked over and over again by the mean, mean Times.
Some choice quotes:
On what’s in store for the next governor: “Whether the governor is David Paterson or Rick Lazio or Andrew Cuomo or Superman, we don’t have a structure that empowers a single leader to get his or her state out of a major conflict. It’s kind of like being in quicksand. You can move around a lot, but it just makes the problem worse … They’re going to try make the next governor’s personality, effectiveness or engagement—or where the next governor eats dinner—the issue.”
On the lawmakers in Albany who have accused him of not passing a budget and generally being ineffective: “They have perpetuated this rumor that I’m waiting all year and don’t care … Every week, I try to get them together and nobody wants to come. Then they turn around and actually try to pretend that it’s me who doesn’t want to have these meetings. It’s completely political.”
On his many scandals: “”I know in my heart I didn’t do anything wrong.”
On not being given the “tools” for the job: “I wasn’t nervous about being the governor. What agitated me is that I didn’t have the tools to take responsibility. I didn’t have the authority that other governors have to address emergencies. That had a profound effect on me. In other words, a firefighter isn’t afraid to run into a building to fight a fire. A firefighter would be afraid to run into a building to fight a fire without a hose. That’s how I felt.”