Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

As the year draws to a close, so too might Caroline Kennedy's chances to be selected as Senator Hillary Clinton's replacement in the US Senate. Instead, it seems that Governor David Paterson may opt for a "caretaker" to hold the seat until a special election can be held in November 2010. From WCBS-TV News:

The former president is among several boldface names being touted as possible "caretakers" for New York's Senate seat -- people who would serve until the 2010 elections but wouldn't be interested in running to keep the job.

As the process of picking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's replacement gets messier, the option may become increasingly attractive to Gov. David Paterson, who has sole authority to name a successor.

A big name like Bill Clinton or Democratic former Gov. Mario Cuomo could have an immediate impact for New York in the Senate while letting the large field of hopefuls duke it out in 2010, according to three Democratic Party advisers in New York and Washington who are close to the discussion with Paterson's inner circle on this issue.

Two others in the party confirmed that Paterson is still considering the caretaker option. The advisers spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to comment.

So should Governor Paterson go the caretaker route? And if so, should it be Clinton or Cuomo? More on this story from the Associated Press.

Tags: Bill Clinton, Mario Cuomo, New York Senate Seat (all tags)



CBS-TV just did an about-face on this....

About three minutes ago, the CBS affiliate just ran a piece on the 11PM news with a story about how NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a critical ally of Governor Paterson and someone who had been against Kennedy replacing Clinton had just changed his position to being pro-Kennedy. CBS more than inferred that this might be a major factor and tipping point in pushing Kennedy into the seat, as well.

A moment later they countered that by mentioning, in passing, what you're covering here in your diary.

Looks like Kennedy's chances may, in fact, be stronger than ever based upon the manner in which the Silver endorsement just ran, IMHO.

by bobswern 2008-12-31 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

At first I was for Kennedy, but it has become more complicated as time as gone on. I am now more in favor of a caretaker than anything else.

As for Clinton, definitely no. Cuomo, maybe. I'm more in favor of Slaughter (sp?) or some other senior member of the NY House delegation who is getting ready to hang it up.

But, hey what do I know?

by Trowaman 2008-12-31 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

Slaughter chairs the House Rules Committee, one of the most powerful positions in the House of Reps.  At her age, why would she give that up to be a junior Senator for a couple of years?

by jmnyc 2009-01-01 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

I am all for a senior statesman caretaker. It will allow anyone to RUN and EARN the seat.

by RJEvans 2008-12-31 07:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

I grew up in Albany, and while I don't live in New York anymore, I'd be delighted to see Mario Cuomo take the seat for the next 20 months.  He could lend the sort of leadership not only New York, but we as a nation can use right now.

by PghArch 2008-12-31 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

Why would a former President want to be a US Senator? Why would the Democratic Governor of New York want to appoint a "caretaker"?

Reward a longtime party loyalist and put them in place to defend the seat. Anything less would be following a strategy that makes sense only to the Governor. A governor whose new tax plan appears to be more regressive than a Rockefeller's.

by wengler 2008-12-31 08:59PM | 0 recs
"Reward a longtime party loyalist . . .
and put them in place to defend the seat."
Like, you know, uhm, someone who voted and campaigned in every election for Democrats, and always gave her/his time and money to the party and its candidates?
You realize that excludes le princesse du Bouvier-Kennedy, right?  
by kosnomore 2009-01-01 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

I thought from the beginning that mario Cuomo was the best choice.  If anyone "deserves" it, he does.  He would be an immediate impact player and serve a caretaker status--unless he decided to go for a full term.  If Lautenberg can win at his age, so could Mario.

by Thaddeus 2008-12-31 09:14PM | 0 recs
Mario Cuomo

If Mario Cuomo weren't the father of Andrew Cuomo he would be an excellent placeholder. As it stands, speaking of three families (Kennedy, Cuomo, Clinton), where two of them have been seen a marriage in amongst them, won't do much to mollify critics of this entire process.

by Scarce 2009-01-01 02:03AM | 0 recs
Exactly - -
how about a civil or women's rights or peace activist to be a caretaker?
Harry Belafonte?
Gloria Steinem?
Faculty from Columbia or Cornell or NYU?
It's NY - - think of the over 65 talent pool!
by kosnomore 2009-01-01 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

A caretaker would mean that the senator eventually occupying the seat would lose precious seniority over one that was seated in 2009   This is not in the interest of New York.

by interguru 2009-01-01 03:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

If the person elected in 2010 is a House member, the seniority won't drop that much.  Remember, in a freshman class, House membership puts you at the top of the class.

by Hughsterg 2009-01-01 05:48AM | 0 recs
The NY Senator always has power

Quite frankly we are not talking about a small state.  Just representing the State of NY gives the Senator a certain amount of power.

 It is only two years so not that long in Senate terms anyway.

 That being said any Senator from NY represents one of the largest Democratic donor bases in the country.  What other Senator would not like to work on pet legislation or whatever to get to do a few fundraisers in Manhattan?

Realistically this is a poor argument and dwarfs in comparison to the fact that an election is the best way to choose a representative.

Kennedy has said she will run if it is a care taker and I think she and everyone else should be given the chance to take their case to the voters.

Hillary certainly did prove herself when she ran for the first time and entered the Senate with the respect of her colleagues and her state.

by Christine A Cegelis 2009-01-01 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

Jesus Christ, Mario and Bill Clinton are not going to be appointed.  They've both said repeatedly that they're not interested in the position.  An article like this one does nothing but take up space, with "reporters" who insist on offering baseless conjecture that passes for analysis.  Maybe we should call them "speculators" instead of "reporters".

by 1st Republic 14th Star 2009-01-01 06:00AM | 0 recs
If only someone here had been . . .

able to suggest / see it coming - - 59/178#29

But, he'd have to be a sock puppet troll, right?

by kosnomore 2009-01-01 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

hmmm...i can't believe i didn't think of this.  i've been of two minds  about caroline.  i'm interested and basically like her, but the cashing-in-on-the-family-name thing bothered me.  i think having a senior statesman as a caretaker makes a lot of sense and from a ny-centric perspective is good policy.  there's going to be an enormous amount of energy starting january 21, with lots of new resources going out all across the country.  if we have a bold-faced advocate, it will only increase ny's chances of getting the aid that we need.  

i'm a little surprised by saying this, but i think bill clinton would be a great choice.  there would be no illusions that he would run for the seat in two years, there would be a certain amount of continuity with hillary, the electorate loves him, he'd keep ny in the news, and it would keep him out of other trouble that might affect hillary's ability to get off to the best of starts as Sec of State.  i say bill for two, then let's see if caroline can prove herself in 2010.

by bluedavid 2009-01-01 01:30PM | 0 recs

If Paterson appoints a caretaker, he will run for the seat himself and let the free for all in 2010 be for Gov.

The worst kept political secret in NY was that the deal b/w Paterson and Spitzer was that Paterson got Hillary Clinton's seat if she vacated it.  That evaporated when Spitzer imploded in March and Paterson became Gov.

So far Paterson is doing very well as Gov but I can see why he would want to be a Senator instead.  It is not a lot of fun to be Gov in a bad economy.  

by jmnyc 2009-01-01 06:21PM | 0 recs
If his new taxes go through

I think Patterson would stand little chance of being re-elected.  Of course, this would be affected by whether he has any primary challengers.  I would find it difficult to vote for him on the back of his ultra-regressive taxing policies.  He refuses to raise taxes on the rich, but wants to tax non-diet soft drinks?

by orestes 2009-01-02 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: If his new taxes go through

I am pretty sure Paterson's budget was a shock one to wake up the establishment in Albany that they are going to have to implement a surcharge on those earning over $1 million.  They tried to get it through last year without success.

I actually support the tax on non-diet soda for health reasons.  Diabetes Type 2 is the number one health problem we have and it is largely caused by poor diet habits.  The idea of making sugar filled food more expensive, much like we do with cigarettes, is fine by me.  

by jmnyc 2009-01-03 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: If his new taxes go through

I'm always uncomfortable with the government trying to legislate basic behavior.  Of course, all laws are an attempt to legislate behavior at some level, but I believe it should be done as sparingly as possible in as least restrictive a manner as possible.  Hence, I am bothered by this intention to legislate eating habits, of all things.    

by orestes 2009-01-05 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor Paterson May Opt for A Caretaker

I'm all for a caretaker and letting the people decide in 2010.  Personally, I'd ask Representative Lowey, who seems like an ideal caretaker.  I know she's said no, but maybe she'd change her mind.

I doubt Bill would really reenter the political landscape.  Not worth it for him.  Mario, perhaps, but you wonder if that becomes caretaker/placeholder for Andrew.  I'm fine with Andrew as Senator, I'm fine with Mario as a caretaker, but the idea of Mario holding it for Andrew?  Eh, has me a bit shaky.

by toonsterwu 2009-01-01 08:07PM | 0 recs


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