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A Clinton Supporter, Sure, But Shy on the Stump

By Jonathan Weisman
Eliot Spitzer's travails aren't all bad for Hillary Rodham Clinton -- but they aren't all that good either.

If, as aides expect, the scandal-plagued New York governor resigns, one of Sen. Clinton's most prominent African American supporters, New York Lieut. Gov. David A. Paterson, will ascend to the governor's mansion. That is a far more prominent perch from which the scion of a prominent Harlem political family can vouch for a politician who needs powerful black backers.

On the other hand, Paterson hasn't exactly been a barn burner on the campaign trail. In a New York Observer account from last month, Paterson was explaining why Obama would likely win his district just ahead of the Super Tuesday primary in Harlem when an elderly women asked him who he was voting for. "Uh, Hillary," he offered sheepishly, later explaining his reticent answer by saying, "I knew that woman was going to laugh in my face as soon as I did it."

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 11, 2008; 12:46 PM ET
 
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