ALBANY—David Paterson insisted comments he made yesterday about Barack Obama's effectiveness in Washington were not a "shot" at the president. This weekend, it was reported that White House officials delivered a message that Paterson not run for re-election.
"I don't remember that I ever took a shot at him," Paterson replied after a leaders meeting, when asked. "No, not at all. I was saying that the difficulty was caused by the fact that the Republicans were collectively voting against all of his programs, and I was saying that when a party an entire political party in the senate and the House are voting against almost everything you propose, and he did pass, by the way, everything that he proposed. But my point is that it would certainly tarnish the atmosphere and would put the White House in the position of having to pay greater attention to the political activity of states."
The comments were interpreted as a shot and enthusiastically promoted by Drudge.
"I think the White House has really come to Washington to try to be transformative and to try to initiate stimulus packages and health care reforms that would really help our country," Paterson continued. "But I think that when you get collective opposition to the point where Republicans are voting against everything en masse, the consequence of it is that you do start being concerned about political races in other states. And that's the question that was asked of me, so my point was that I totally understand how they feel; I actually would agree that they would pay attention to these races."