David Paterson's "Dizzy Mix of Ingratiation and Trickeration"

What really happened with that Senate appointment in New York? New York Magazine reconstructs the story -- or at least tries to: Yet in two ...
by | January 26, 2009

What really happened with that Senate appointment in New York? New York Magazine reconstructs the story -- or at least tries to:

Yet in two months politics in New York devolved from dysfunctional to chaotic, tarnishing every major player involved. And sometimes it seemed that David Paterson wanted it exactly that way. His style of governance, a dizzy mix of ingratiation and trickeration, has turned what could have been a moment of triumph--a powerful new ally in the Senate, a relationship with President Obama--into a slapstick fiasco, a fitting sequel to the way Paterson got the job in the first place. Politics is often a contest of half-truths, where the winner is the best bullshitter. But thanks to Paterson and a cast of dozens, the fight to become the next senator became instead a world-class festival of lies.

...

In all the rubble and recrimination, though, there is one thing the antagonists agree on: Paterson never said the magic words to Kennedy. He never literally offered her the job as senator. Was her camp criminally guilty of wishful thinking? Was Paterson right to keep everyone guessing until he was good and ready to decide? Did Kennedy's self-destruction vindicate his extending the process as long as possible? No one is telling the whole truth, so the picture only gets murkier the closer you look.

(Hat tip: Elizabeth Benjamin)

The New York Magazine story has lots of great details. As a journalist, this was one that intrigued me the most:

Political operatives who have worked with him over the years say that the "source close to the governor" is often Paterson.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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