Monday, April 27, 2009

Rev. Albatross

Well, it looks as if Governor Davis Paterson may be showing some life after all. As the NY Times reported yesterday: "Faced with an increasingly popular rival in Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and a growing loss of confidence among top Democrats, Gov. David A. Paterson is making a pointed pitch to New York’s political establishment: I’m not dead yet."

Paterson reminds us of the apocryphal man who fell out of the 12th story window. When he passed the third floor, someone looked at and asked: "How are you doing? " To which he replied: "So far so good!" But of course, if you're in free fall, there's no one better to catch you before you crash land than that old Good Samaritan, the Reverend Al Sharpton.

After all, if there is anyone who can revive the political fortunes of the governor, it's this political miracle worker. As the NY Daily News tells us: "The Rev. Al Sharpton challenged his longtime foe, Republican Rudy Giuliani, to run for governor Saturday, predicting struggling Gov. Paterson will prevail in the next election."Come on and run, Rudy. We want you to run," Sharpton exhorted at his Harlem headquarters, where politicians were rallying for Paterson. "Run, Rudy, run!" the crowd chanted back.

All of which just makes us smile-who else but the reverend could promote a political resurrection this close to Easter? But are we the only ones who see this as the governor's death rattle? As the Times points out: "Underscoring the pressure Mr. Paterson faces, some close friends and allies have privately been discussing — apparently without Mr. Paterson’s knowledge — where the governor might land if he did decide not to run. One idea that has come up is a position at Columbia University, where Mr. Paterson earned his undergraduate degree and where he has been an adjunct instructor, according to some of those involved in the discussion."

The fear, of course, is that Paterson at the top of the Democratic ticket in 2010 will sink the entire enterprise: "But at a moment when Mr. Paterson’s low approval ratings and successive fumbles have many top Democrats concerned that he will drag down the entire party ticket in 2010, the governor appears determined to fight on."

On the other hand Big Al only looks as if he's full of helium-and will promote the Paterson lift off as well as a lead balloon: "Sharpton shot down suggestions that state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo will challenge Paterson in a Democratic primary - a fight a Sienna poll out last week showed Cuomo will win 64% to 11%. "That race is not going to happen. This is not about David and Andrew. This is about David and Rudy Giuliani," Sharpton said. Giuliani, a Republican, would beat Paterson 56% to 29%, the poll found."

But no one, aside from the self serving reverend, thinks that Paterson will even reach the point where he will be able to even face off against the former mayor. There may still be a ways to go, but this kind of miracle probably should be reserved for Lourdes.