Incoming Gov. No Stranger to Establishment

Spitzer successor Paterson is known as progressive, conciliator
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2008 1:32 PM CDT
Democratic candidate for governor Eliot Spitzer, right, with Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor David Paterson, speaks in Cheektowaga, N.Y. a suburb of Buffalo in this May 31, 2006 file photo....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – He's nothing like the New York governor who precedes him, but David Paterson brings skills that could take him far in Albany—and question marks, too. The lieutenant governor had been ready to move into Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, Politico reports, but arrives instead at the statehouse with a reputation as a unifier directly at odds with steamrolling Eliot Spitzer.

But watchers wonder if the Democratic organization man has the strength to be an exec; one former aide remembered how Paterson always hated “to be the bad guy.” But writing in the Nation, John Nichols calls the Harlem resident an “experienced and capable progressive leader,” strong on civil rights, who has managed to befriend Republicans while hewing closely to the left.