Paterson Greets Obama in New York
In the wake of weekend reports that the White House expressed concern over New York Gov. David Paterson's political standing in advance of the 2010 election contest for the gubernatorial seat, interest was running high Monday morning in how the president and the governor would interact -- if at all -- at Obama's speech on the economy in Troy, New York.
Michael D. Shear is the pool reporter for the White House press today and sends along the below pool report describing an apparently cordial interaction upon Obama's arrival in Albany, New York:
Gov. Paterson was standing at the bottom of the stairs to greet President Obama, the first of a handful of people standing in the receiving line.
When Obama came down, the two had a brief exchange that looked cordial. The shook hands, Obama did a kind of half-embrace with his back to the press corps, and said something to Paterson, who listened for a moment and then said something back. (Your pooler, being kept far away and next to a whining jet engine, could not hear a thing.)
Obama then moved on to greet others, but stepped next to Paterson to say a few things to the group of five or six people assembled. There were a couple more pats on the back -- Paterson on Obama and Obama on Paterson -- and then it was over. Obama got into his limo. Paterson went to another vehicle. Plenty of New York media were on hand to visually catch the exchange.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was also asked questions about Paterson at a gaggle aboard Air Force One en route to New York. Shear reports his replies:
On Paterson: "Well, look, I think everybody understands the tough job that every elected official has right now in addressing many of the problems that we have. I think people are aware of the tough situation that the governor of NY is in. I wouldn't add a lot to what you've
read except this is a decision that he's going to make."
To another question about whether that means the president did or did not direct that people tell him to get out of the race: "The president understands the tough job that everyone has and the pressure that they are under."
On whether the President is more involved that predecessors in state and local politics: "I would somewhat not subscribe to the notion that this is new. ...To quote Paul Begala, not being involved in politics is like taking the math out of physics."
Any risks for Obama to dabbling in that level of politics: "Hazards of the job."
Web Politics Editor
September 21, 2009; 11:52 AM ET
Categories: 50 States
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