The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up

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Feb
21

What is He Thinking?

By · Feb, 21 2010

The start of every American Idol season provides numerous cringe-worthy moments where a tone-deaf aspirant attempts to impress the panel of judges with a voice that should never be allowed out of a well-insulated shower stall. Dreams of fame and fortune blind these youngsters to their blatant inability to carry a tune. Like a horrific car accident on the highway, many of us find it impossible to look away.

I often find myself asking, doesn’t anyone love that person enough to tell him the truth before they step in front of cameras and embarrass themselves on national TV?

This is the same thought I have upon hearing the news David Paterson is defiantly running for re-election.

Yes, the White House pressured him not to run (but that wasn’t out of love, but political calculation). And his self-picked Lt. Governor and US Senator (whose selection started Paterson’s rapid fall in public opinion polls) didn’t bother to show up at his campaign launch at Hofstra. And the well-regarded and even better-funded Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is the clear favorite of both the party establishment and base.

And, yet, the Governor persists.

“So many people are saying I shouldn’t run for governor,” Mr. Paterson told a supportive but relatively subdued crowd of about 400 people at the Hofstra University student center here on Long Island. “But you need to know that this is a governor that does not quit.”

Mr. Paterson, who ignored White House pressure to pass up the race, faces the daunting task of building enough political support to win the Democratic nomination. On Saturday, he compared himself to ordinary New Yorkers struggling against the odds: An unemployed sheet-metal worker from Rochester, a black single mother from Queens and a family forced out of East Harlem by gentrification.

Like them, Mr. Paterson said, he knew what it was like to be told to give up. And like gays, racial and ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups, Mr. Paterson, who is legally blind, said he understood what it was like “to challenge the institutions that were, unfortunately, bigoted and ignorant.”

Paterson’s rationale for re-election seems to boil down to this:  ”I’m a victim.”

I wonder what will happen when the panel of judges gets done with him.

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