When David Paterson is sworn in as governor in a few hours here in Albany, the faces that surround him–drawn from his many years as a legislator and Senate minority leader–will likely be familiar to lawmakers, lobbyists and reporters.
Lobbyist James Featherstonhaugh, as a result, expects Paterson’s transition to be smoother than Eliot Spitzer’s.
Featherstonhaugh said, “I think [Paterson chief of staff] Charles O’Byrne is a better known quantity in Albany and will be a better known quantity in Albany on Monday than [Spitzer top aide] Rich Baum was on Day One, because the attorney general’s office has very little intercourse with the legislative and executive branch of government.”
As for how Paterson’s nice-guy demeanor will fair in this rough-and-tumble place, Featherstonhaugh said, “I think all he needs to do is get a t-shirt of his own that says, ‘Never mistake civility for weakness,’ which I believe is a quote of John Kennedy.”
But, he added, “Nobody with any sense expects David to be a pushover.”