By Michael D. Shear
BUFFALO -- It's chilly up here. Especially between President Obama and New York Gov. David Paterson.
The state's Democratic governor is not here with Obama, who is speaking with employees at Industrial Support Inc., which specializes in metal fabricating, stamping, wood working, welding, packaging and other manufacturing services.
A White House official said Paterson was invited to the event, but declined.
"He was invited but couldn't make it due to important work with the New York legislature today," said deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton.
The two men have had an icy relationship since last September, when Obama made it clear -- and public -- that he wanted the Democratic governor and his basement poll ratings to step aside for the good of the party.
Soon after, they appeared uncomfortable together when the president arrived in New York for a town hall meeting at which he sang the praises of attorney general Andrew Cuomo but barely mentioned Paterson.
Local media in Buffalo were buzzing today about another such moment. Local radio station WBEN posted a story on its Web site this morning with the headline "Gov Snub?" and repeated parts of an earlier interview in which Paterson appeared not to know that the trip had been planned.
"Asked then if he was aware of an invite, Paterson said 'No, I'm, I'm just saying I don't.' " the radio station reported him saying.
Officials for the governor said there was no snub either way today. The White House invited Paterson to the event, and even suggested that the governor greet Obama on the tarmac at the Buffalo airport. But the governor had plans he could not change, the state officials said.
"He regrets he is unable to make it," said Morgan Hook, Paterson's spokesman.
It was also unclear whether Paterson will be attending the Democratic fundraiser in New York City that is being headlined by Obama later tonight.
May 13, 2010; 2:41 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama
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