Jimmy’s story on David Paterson’s less-than-busy schedule answers a question I’d always wondered about our first legally-blind governor: how does he keep on top of the news without being able to tear through the morning papers like most other politicians? Obviously someone has to read them to him, or at least summarize them, but who? And when? Jimmy answers:
Most elected officials can skim a packet of news clips in about 20 minutes, but they must be summarized and read into Paterson’s special voice mail system–around the Capitol it’s referred to as the “Bat phone.” To be up to speed, Mr. Paterson has to listen, a non-trivial process.
Paterson’s staff says his disability accounts for some of the sparse scheduling, and it seems like a reasonable enough explanation for why the governor doesn’t usually hold meetings until 10 a.m. As to why Paterson didn’t do more campaigning this summer–for a seat he keeps insisting he will vigorously seek–that part remains something of a mystery.