What do you do when you are an extremely unpopular governor and everyone – including the president – seems to want you to forego your reelection plans? How about start over? New York Gov.
What do you do when you are an extremely unpopular governor and everyone – including the president – seems to want you to forego your reelection plans? How about start over? New York Gov. David Paterson (D) launched two new ads that are his attempt to re-introduce himself after his spate of bad press. In addition to his apparent impasse with the White House - which sent political director Patrick Gaspard to dissuade him from running, Paterson's numbers continue to be in the toilet. Just 28 percent view him favorably in the latest Quinnipiac Poll. And there is the general impression that Democrats are waiting for him to bow out so Attorney General Andrew Cuomo can run. Some big D.C. Democrats are throwing Cuomo a fundraiser in Washington later this month, Chris "The Fix" Cillizza reported Friday morning. The ads were produced by Murphy Putnam, according to the New York Times, and Paterson has purchased a multimillion dollar ad buy to air them. (Where, by the way, is he getting all this money??) The first ad, "Some Say," directly addresses those who want him to step aside. “Some say I shouldn’t be running for governor,” Paterson says, before listing decisions he has made for the state in his tenure. The message is clear: Paterson has made tough choices for the state that are not based on what is politically expedient. "It might have been easier if all I thought about was running for governor," he says. "But I think it’s more important to do what’s right for the people of New York.” "When," the second ad, is a biographical spot that focuses on the adversities that Paterson has overcome in this life, starting with his blindness. Left unsaid, is the adversity he is facing to over running for reelection. "When you become governor, you learn that you will make mistakes," the ad's narrator says. "But in the depths of an historic recession, you take what you have learned and have the strength to do what's right for the people of New York." The ads also debut Paterson's new campaign slogan: "The People First." Both ads play on an the idea that New Yorkers root for an underdog. In this case, the underdog is Paterson, who is fighting for reelection when everyone else wants him to give up. There is some polling to back that up. A Marist Poll in late September found that a significant majority – 62 percent – think the White House should butt out of the New York governor's race. One thing's for sure, though: This is undoubtedly another headache for the White House. Jeremy P. Jacobs is the staff writer at Politics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org