Watch Paterson go!

The circumstances of his becoming governor of New York were bizarre to say the least, but Gov. David Paterson may be disproving the notion that African-Americans can govern across party lines at the state and national level. (see story at

Not only has he embarked on a whirlwind of action, but he’s gotten Republicans and Democrats on the same page. In fact, whenever he issues a press release, all the relevant legislators have quotes within it.

His people skills have enabled him to tackle hard issues like the state budget, whether to recognize same sex marriages performed elsewhere and increasing minority business involvement in public debt offerings with everyone singing on the same page like a church choir.

It may impact the national election if the Democratic contender takes lessons from Paterson’s proactive strategy, which started out with the startling admission that he’d had an affair.  Unlike his predecessor, he got ahead of the story and all his potential adversaries said it was his personal business.

When it comes to the business of the state, Paterson has become an expert on the workings of the state government and has prepared for this day for two decades.  

His family and community background gives him the confidence to not hide from his blackness, but to frame the concerns of his community in ways that are attractive to a larger constituency.

Despite the historic nature of the White House race, I think Paterson is the most interesting politician in America.


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