Seriously! Paterson Getting Frustrated Over Senate Appointment

ALBANY—Even on the other side of the Atlantic, David Paterson can't escape the buzz over whom he will appoint to the U.S. Senate.

The governor, with representatives Steve Israel and Anthony Weiner, just held a conference call from an air base in Germany on their way back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The three were discussing the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, until The Times' Nick Confessore asked Paterson if he spoke with Israel about Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, and what he thinks about comments made this morning by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

(Silver said Caroline Kennedy would be a senator beholden more to Michael Bloomberg than Paterson.)

"I'm certainly hoping that the time to confirm Secretary of State Hillary Clinton comes soon, because we have reached a new high and a new low in areas of gossip, speculation, mind reading and other areas of information," Paterson said.  "I think that, as the one who has tried to ask everyone to refrain from this, and I'm sure it's not bothering you, Nick [Confessore], that you have something to write about. The issue is we're trying to find the best person to sit in the U.S. Senate to both accommodate the diversity and the regions of the great State of New York."

Paterson said he and Israel discussed the Senate seat on December 12, but not while overseas. "Here, we kind of have a higher mission," Paterson said.

On Silver's comments, Paterson said, "What I'm trying to keep away from is lobbying, coercion and distracting information. I'm sure everyone has an opinion, and not everyone is averse to express it." Seriously! Paterson Getting Frustrated Over Senate Appointment