Thursday, September 24, 2009

It takes the first African-American President... 

... to put a knife in the back of the first African-American Governor of New York, Michael Goodwin tells us:
O's NY coup shows race does matter

Some say it was to stop Rudy Giuliani and a Republican resurgence in Albany. Others see payback for the mauling of Caroline Kennedy and the appointment of the clownish Kirsten Gillibrand.

However you explain President Obama's putsch against Gov. Paterson, there is only one factor that ultimately makes it possible: race.

Only the first black president could pull off a coup against New York's first black governor...

"It was a gutsy move," said one top state Democrat. "The president basically said openly what everybody else in politics has been saying quietly about Paterson: You're not qualified to be governor."

The grumbling didn't turn into action for one simple reason: No white New Yorker was willing to risk being called a racist.

Take Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, whose path to the party nomination has been cleared by Obama.

For months, polls have shown him an overwhelming favorite against Paterson, yet the boldness Cuomo demonstrated in taking on Eliot Spitzer and Wall Street bonus babies wilted at the prospect of a primary against a very weak black opponent.

The primal quest to follow in father Mario's footsteps would have to wait, as Cuomo gave every indication he would run for re-election instead of challenging Paterson.

Never mind that Paterson was an accidental governor, having replaced the disgraced Spitzer.

He had no proven constituency outside Harlem, yet neither Cuomo nor anybody else of standing would dare run against him.

Clearly, the promised era of postracial politics comes with limits...
Paterson's 80% negative rating is the worst of any governor in the nation -- he's been polling below Ahmadinejad.

Still, no Democrat in New York was going to challenge him.

Ironically, Paterson seems to have dealt himself out only by playing the race card, and dealing Obama in...
Insiders believe Paterson sealed his fate with the White House with his reckless claim that racism in the media was behind his negative coverage and his abysmal poll numbers. In a radio rant, he even predicted Obama himself would be the next victim...
And the White House didn't appreciate that. (Watch out, Charlie Rangel, when trying to distract from your own problems -- you may not get a third chance.)