Paterson in Syracuse

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.

7 thoughts on “Paterson in Syracuse

  1. Simon St.Laurent

    Thanks for the tip, and for the pointer!

    I’m liking Governor Paterson more and more each day lately. Somehow he’s mysteriously turning up on my side when I think my fellow Dems are making mistakes, and doing well otherwise.

  2. Ellen Post author

    I’m listening to the replay of the interview on WSYR right now – apparently Paterson likes going on talk radio because, being legally blind, that’s where he used to get a lot of his news as a kid (couldn’t read the newspaper). ha.

    But ironically that’s another thing that’s going to endear him (a little, anyway) to Republicans…?

    Now he’s talking about making New York more “energy-for-food efficient” — something that fans of eating locally would like, I’m sure.

    BTW, here’s some Paterson press release joy at Invisible Flood Blog…

  3. JenniferBB

    I have to say I was incredibly impressed with Patterson yesterday. His remarks about pulling “planet Albany” back into orbit were great.

    Ellen, I’ve been trying to google the reference about “energy-for-food efficient”–can you tell me more?

  4. Robinia

    Yep– we fans of eating locally like him, and think he can place the farm/food economy more in a theoretically-consistent economic development policy. Spitzer was all big-biz in his economic development strategy– Paterson is much more, well, strategic. His latest move, to increase the filming of movies in NYS by means of tax expenditure, is very smart, too. When I think about Paterson, I think “Damn, I hope we can do it.”

  5. Ellen

    Jennifer- He talked a bit about how many average miles it takes to transport food from field to table – in the U.S., according to him, it’s an average of 1500 miles. He said that Canada had gotten their average down to 500 miles, and that New York could do better in this area – he mentioned something along the lines of getting upstate food to downstate tables, but he also was talking cutting down on food transportation energy costs statewide.

  6. Jennifer BB

    Thanks Robinia and Ellen. How nice to hear these facts and intentions come from the Governor–he gets it. Perhaps we can make some real strides with his rhetoric.

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