Smith: ‘Open-Minded’ Paterson Won’t Be Held to Old Positions

Malcolm Smith is downplaying the notion that David Paterson might force the positions he held as a State Senator into the governorship.

The Senate Minority Leader emphasized that Paterson "understands that he’s in a new role" during an interview with Gabe Pressman, taped this morning for NBC’s News Forum.

Here’s the exchange, from a transcript the network sent over: 

PRESSMAN: Here in New York City, though, The New York Sun speculated that because of his opposition to eminent domain as a principle of government, that things like the Columbia Project, Atlantic Yards, Willets Point, these public developments may be in jeopardy under Governor Paterson.

SMITH: Well, I think what you’ll find with the governor is that he
understands that he’s in a new role. And his position representing a certain district and being a lieutenant governor or the minority leader all has to be more integrative and changes once you take on a new role. You know, when I just a senator, I had certain positions that I took on issues. But once I became the leader, I recognized that there was a larger tent, if you will, that I had to focus under. And I think David is that same way. He is going to take a look at things and get input from others. He is one to ask advice. He will seek counsel and then he will talk to the leaders and come up with what’s best for the city of New York. So I don’t think one should buttonhole him or say, `you know what? Here’s where you were, and here’s where you are going to be in the future.’ I know that he’s a great deal more open-minded than that.

Smith: ‘Open-Minded’ Paterson Won’t Be Held to Old Positions