Friday, March 14, 2008


Sometimes things just happen.

I'm sure that the New York Democratic Party never envisioned Governor Eliot Spitzer resigning, which means David Paterson (the current Lieutenant Governor) takes over as the Governor of New York State for the next three years. There are probably scores of politicians in New York who now regret not pursuing the post of Lt. Governor. And there are probably a lot of New Yorkers that will be surprised to learn that their new Governor is not only Black, but legally blind.

The position of Lieutenant Governor in New York has always been a somewhat weak one, and one that is not eagerly sought after. And no one ever envisioned the youthful and energetic Spitzer would ever need to be replaced. And when the job is playing second fiddle to one with an ego as large as Spitzer's, not everyone might want the job.

When Spitzer wanted to reach out to minorities he tapped David Paterson, who was formerly the minority leader in the state Senate. Paterson had also been widely speculated to be the probable replacement for Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate if she became President. Likely few outside of New York noticed, or cared, when he agreed to run as Lieutenant Governor.

From all accounts, it sounds like Paterson is the perfect person for the Governor's job. He is seen as a consensus builder, and is respected by people from both parties. From what I've read, he did a good job in the New York state Senate. During an interview this week he was asked if he ever visited a prostitute. Showing a wry sense of humor, he responded "Only the lobbyists."

Paterson also noted in the interview that 71% of blind people in this country are unemployed, as are 90% of deaf people. I hope he continues to highlight such statistics, while pushing New York to be a leader in working to change them.

Sometimes things just happen. And this time, I'm awfully glad that Paterson is the soon to be Governor of New York. He sounds like just the kind of person that can demonstrate with quiet competence that discrimination against the disabled is not only wrong, but bad for business and society as a whole.


kristina said...

I was very glad to see this too----serendipity and a good turn to something different amid all the mess over the Governor.

Marla said...

Wow. I had no idea. I think that is awesome.

Since I have been forced to watch Nikelodeon and the computer has been set on Miley Cyrus fan club site I am out of the loop right now.

I wonder if the media is talking a lot about the new Governor? I too hope he brings these statistics to light.

Daisy said...

I am so, so excited about Paterson's ascension to the governor's office. When I first heard about him, I have to admit I was so excited about seeing a blind man in office that I didn't even notice he is also black. His skills in building consensus might be his most valuable asset, disability and race aside. I'll keep printing (in Braille, of course) articles about him for Amigo.

kristenspina said...

Oh yes, very happy here on Long Island. Paterson sounds like he's going to be a wonderful governor.

Joeymom said...

We use sign with Joey, and I find it amazing how resistant people are to it. Happy to learn Spanish, but not sign... very strange.