Self-Pitying Paterson: People ‘Nervous’ Over Minorities in Office


paterson915NY Gov. Paterson is still blaming race for his his troubles.
After complaining on a Friday radio show that he is the victim of an “orchestrated” campaign to push him out of office, Paterson told a blogger that some people are uncomfortable with too many black pols in power. “Part of what I feel is that one very successful minority is permissible, but when you see too many success stories, then some people get nervous,” Paterson told political blogger Gerson Borrero over the weekend.Paterson’s comment is sure to catch the ear of the White House, which already asked him to tone down his rhetoric after he said Friday that President Obama will be the next target of a racist media.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said this morning that the President does not share Paterson’s view that criticism of him or any other politician is racially motivated.

“In terms of media coverage of the President, he thinks that there are a lot of people who agree with him in the media, there are a lot people who disagree with him in the media, and there are a lot of folks who play it straight,” Burton told reporters in Martha’s Vineyard, where Obama is vacationing, this morning.

“Whether or not race plays into that, I don’t think it is the case,” he added. “The President doesn’t think it is the case. What he thinks is that there area lot of people with different opinions, and one of the great parts about the American tradition is that people are able to do that freely.”

Meanwhile, a defensive – and at times self-pitying – Paterson indicated he’s been stewing about the issue for some time.

“I have been quiet for 17 months on this issue,” he said.

“I played by the rules. It was a very difficult position to find myself in and I’ve given it my best. I’ve done the best I can under the very trying circumstances the state is facing.”

Paterson created a firestorm last week after telling Daily News columnist Errol Louis in a radio interview that a racist media is trying to kill his chances of running for a full term next year.

He said he understands the criticism over the budget and the Senate leadership battle, but Paterson suggested to Borrero that he is held to a different standard.

“It seems I have to work twice as hard as others,” he said.

And it still bothers him that people refer to him as the “accidental governor.” He took office in 2008 after former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned.

“It was not an accident. It is a constitutional mandate,” he said. “I became governor by a constitutional mandate.”

He said the successors to disgraced governors Jim McGreevey of New Jersey and John Rowland of Connecticut were not dubbed “accidental governors.”

“I’ve had to endure this for 17 months and quite frankly on Friday when I spoke to Errol Louis on his radio show, it all came to a head,” he said.

Paterson made a similar complaint last summer at the national NAACP convention.

Paterson did back away from at least one assertion – that the media as a whole is racist.

“I don’t think the media has acted in a racist way, but I have felt stereotyped at times,” he said. “The media is trying to control the politics. Not reporting it. They’re trying to control it. There are some folks in the media who think that it’s all right to racially stereotype.”

Meanwhile, a new Siena Research Institute poll released Monday morning but taken before the governor’s rant showed his job approval rating at 23% and his favorablity rating at 32%.

A whopping 68% said they would prefer someone else if Paterson runs for a full four-year term next year.

The poll also found Attorney General Andrew Cuomo continues to trash Paterson in a hypothetical Democratic primary matchp.

Cuomo’s favorablilty rating is at a sky-high 70%, and 52% would prefer to see him run for governor rather than seek re-election as attorney general.

Paterson would also be trounced by Republican former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in a general election matchup, the poll found.

{NY Daily News/ Newscenter}