ALBANY—Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson was in the thick of things today, shaking hands with the president and exchanging a brief pleasantry. He was reportedly dining Friday evening with David Paterson and Representative Greg Meeks when the news that the White House wanted Paterson to step aside was delivered. Sampson sat between Paterson and Andrew Cuomo, his presumed gubernatorial rival.
"I think that's an issue with respect to the president and the governor to deal with," Sampson said of his Friday dinner during a quick session with reporters that a colleague was gracious enough to share a recording of. "I think the Democrats in the state are concerned about the $2.1 billion budget deficit that we have to deal with on Wednesday. I think everyone's main focus is making sure that vital services, such as health care and education, are not getting cut."
As for what he said to Obama, Sampson said: "My conversation with the president, there was no such conversation with respect to what's going on in the state of New York. He was just concerned about making sure about the health care issue but most of all about the technology issue."