Paterson’s Moment, Diminished

Just when David Paterson seemed to be on to something, Democrats in the State Senate decided on Thursday to welcome back the thug half of the “thief and thug” duo that defected to the G.O.P. last month, apparently ending the stalemate in the chamber and restoring a 32-30 Democratic majority.
This dramatically deflates the significance of Paterson’s surprise appointment of Richard Ravitch to serve as lieutenant governor.
On live statewide television on Wednesday evening, Paterson declared the extraordinary (and constitutionally questionable) appointment essential on two grounds: with the addition of a tie-breaking lieutenant governor, the Senate would again be functional and critical legislation dealing with the economic crisis would be past; and questions about the gubernatorial line of succession—which have prevented Paterson from leaving the state for the last month—would be cleared up.

Paterson’s Moment, Diminished