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New York Democrats In A Civil War?

by on June 1, 2009

Governor Paterson’s quest for political survival tests his party’s loyalty, and, according to the New York Post, has the Democratic Party  “on the brink of an ‘all- out civil war’ as unelected Gov. Paterson desperately fights to hold an office few think he can win at the polls next year,”

The battle lines are pitting Paterson, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, a Paterson appointee, and several party functionaries against Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic leaders of the Legislature, and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who had a serious and unexpected public clash with the governor on Friday. 

“It’s become ‘Groundhog Day’ with Paterson. His disasters just keep repeating themselves,” was how one of the state’s best-known Democrats put it. 

 Cuomo, the highly popular son of former governor Mario Cuomo, is gearing up to run for governor next year and is seen by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and other senior legislative Democrats as their party’s strongest standard-bearer.

Paterson, with desperately low public-approval ratings and a penchant for blunders, is seen, by contrast, as so weak that his presence on the ticket could put Republicans back in control of the state Senate and, in what many Democrats view as the ultimate horror, guarantee the election of Rudy Giuliani as the state’s next governor.

If tensions are high in the state Democratic Party, the only loser here is Governor Paterson, who will be thrown under the bus quicker than Barack Obama can free captured terrorists at GItmo. If the party thinks Paterson presence on the ticket automatically boosts Republicans — and it might — then they force him out however they can. It doesn’t matter that he soft-launched his campaign a few weeks ago, he’s a goner… and the longer he waits the worse it will be for him.

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