Did Schumer Leak the Obama-to-Paterson News?

Wayne Barrett isn’t happy with the way he was quoted this weekend in a Post profile of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. He thought his comment about how Mr. Cuomo is “great at dropping stinkbombs” was off the record, and he says the idea that Mr. Cuomo goes through these “rehab periods” was an amalgam quote of the reporter’s question and Mr. Barrett’s reply.

But the most interesting part of Mr. Barrett’s long explanation on the Village Voice blog (six research assistants are credited) might be his parenthetical speculation about who might have leaked the Obama-Paterson story to the press. One Times‘ source was described as “a prominent Democrat who discussed the matter with a senior White House official,” which Mr. Barrett says could be Andrew Cuomo–but could also be Senator Chuck Schumer.

In parentheses, Mr. Barrett notes that Schumer is known to have regular conversations with the White House, and his absence from any of the Obama-Paterson stories is “as good an indication as any that the ordinarily effusive senator is at the quiet center of it.”

With Mr. Schumer’s Senate protege, Kirsten Gillibrand, facing an uphill battle against several prospective Republicans next year, it makes a certain amount of sense.