David Paterson was in Syracuse today for his first official visit as guv. (If you didn’t hear him on WSYR, they’re re-running it at 7 p.m.)
I’m getting the sense that Paterson has a much better public relations staff than Spitzer ever did. Maybe he studied at the Schumer School of Press Releasing, but it’s like there’s something specific and targeted coming Upstate’s way from his office every couple of days, and it’s getting into the blogosphere quickly. Like this one about the Finger Lakes trash truck issue. (Living in Dryden has all you need to know about what’s been going on with that and who the players are.) Some newsworthy stuff, like the big fire in the Catskills, I heard about first from a Paterson press release as opposed to the traditional media.
Paterson will need all his PR skills to overcome the ire of the state employee unions, though, after his ultimatum about state agency hiring. Between his chumminess with Joe, his backing of Bloomberg on congestion pricing, and this, he’s turning out a virtual Republican. Who knew?
And while I know he’s being lambasted lately for being too much of a Mr. Nice Guy who gave away too many details about his personal shortcomings, then there are stories like this one about the realities of being a legally blind governor and I just want to root for him and say damn, I hope he can do it. I’ve been watching Dancing with the Stars this season and one of the competitors is Marlee Matlin, who is of course deaf. She had a great start, but has been running into some trouble now, and she may not have a fairy-tale ending in the competition — not because it’s impossible for her to do (it would be impossible for me to do!), but because she probably could use more practice time than the show allows. I admire how frank Paterson is about his handicap.