Mercurio: What If Paterson Just Picked on Merit?

Jennifer 8. Lee noted today that a number of Hillary Clinton's would-be successors were in one place this week when Governor David Paterson visited the New York congressional delegation in Washington D.C.

Among the most talked-about potential promotees in the delegation are Brian Higgins, who has the distinction of not being from New York City or downstate, Nydia Velazquez, who was described by one Paterson aide as "a twofer," since she is a woman and a Hispanic and Kirsten Gillibrand, who is, well, a woman from upstate.

The argument for each of them, in other words, is based largely on demographics.

But maybe that's the wrong way to think about it.

Political consultant Joe Mercurio, for one, is of the view that we're supposed to be beyond all that now.

In an email to me this morning, Mercurio said, "Identity politics should be dead in the new Obama political era. Paterson would gain politically by a selection process that favored the best and the brightest to replace Hillary, and he would ultimately be harmed if old style tribal politics guided his choice." Mercurio: What If Paterson Just Picked on Merit?