Sunday, September 20, 2009

The NY Governor Situation

David Paterson. He's the only Democrat SNL will make fun of now. Eliot Spitzer had no clue just how critical his Lt. Gov pick would be when he ran for Gov of NY. He strengthened his voting bloc with a black politician from the NY state legislature. Paterson is blind, which helps with the sympathy vote. Who is going to vote against a blind guy? What no one counted on was Spitzer paying hookers for rough sex and doing it across state lines. Spitzer stepped down, and the state of NY was suddenly in the hands of a politician with no executive experience. Paterson has been a train wreck, has lost the approval of most NYers, and is now doing more damage to his party than good. His approval rating has been at 20%+/- for over 6 months. Now the president is asking him to step aside and not run in the upcoming election.

This is uncommon for a sitting gov to be so terrible that his own party asks for him to step aside and clear the way for the heir apparent. The fear is to lose the seat if Paterson is the nominee for the Dems. The fear is that fighting against Cuomo will drain money away from Cuomo and dredge up bad as well as good things about him in the primary season. This would weaken him in the general. I do not think the Dems have anything to fear unless Guiliani runs, even though Cuomo has a nice lead in a hypothetical match up right now. Interesting thing about Cuomo is he was not well liked until he started going after AIG & the big banks.

Zero hedge has an interesting post on all of this. Cuomo is digging deep right now in the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch deal. Prez Obama giving Cuomo the nod and clearing the way would put his crusade against BoA to rest, and not dig up any dirt that would be used against Bernanke-Paulson-Geithner. The last thing Obama needs right now is for Cuomo to dig up a golden nugget like Berny-Paulson-Geithner forcing Ken Lewis into an illegal act with the promise of no jail time. Remember the focus is off our insolvent banks and now onto health care, despite the banks not being fixed. Has anyone seen an interview with Ken Lewis about that merger? He stutters a lot and looks scared. If it came out that Berny did some illegal moves, it would make Obama's reappointment of Berny look bad, and suddenly he would have to find a new Fed Chairman. This would be bad for Obama because 1. shows either incompetence in reappointing him or deliberate bad behavior since he is privy to the dealings Bernanke did, 2. a new Fed Chairman would be a horse jump midstream and any future bad moves he can't blame on an appointee grandfathered in from the previous admin, and 3. It reinforces how he doesn't "change" anything.

The American people deserve this investigation. Cuomo would do the nation (and NY) a better service by sticking with this investigation than by moving to the Gov's office. If as Gov he did push his replacement to fight just as hard as he has with the BofA investigation, I would support that. It would be great if he came out and stated that. Cuomo could also keep the fire to BofA, bide his time, let whomever wins this Gov election lead for a term as NY state flounders economically and goes through budget crisis and budget crisis, and run in 4 years as the man who got to the "truth for the people". He would have a groundswell of support to tackle the issues at hand and the political cover to maybe do things that run against what his party stands for but will bring longer term success to the state (reining in state employee union benefits and cutting some state spending).

I am a cynic and do think of most politicians as corrupt douchebags, who get elected because of what they are or who they know, not what they have done. The internet might be changing things. Even as far back as 2004, Howard Dean showed the Internet potential of fundraising from small donors in mass amounts. Ron Paul did the same thing in 2008. Obama's success in 2008 showed how a tech savvy campaign can help efficiency and outreach. The Tea Party movement of '09 has showed just how easy it is to get people together. If politicians consider this in their actions, we might just take back some power from entrenched interests. I doubt it, but I can dream. Even if you cannot topple the ruling elite (admit it, that's what we have), if you can make them fear you, it's a victory.

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