David Paterson Out

But you already knew that. Thinking back on it, I think whenever you hear politicians claim that people are "out to get me" you should be suspicious. It's not that there aren't people out get you--they most certainly are. But that's the business of politics--your opponents try to exploit your political weaknesses to their advantages.

But no amount of "people out to get you" can make you attempt to use the governor's office as means to thwart the prosecution of one of your boys:

...many had said publicly this week that Mr. Paterson's chances had been damaged, perhaps irreparably, by the disclosures that the governor himself had stepped in on behalf of David W. Johnson, 37, a close confidant who rose from being a young intern to being Mr. Paterson's driver and scheduler and, later, to a wider role in Mr. Paterson's operation. Last fall Mr. Johnson's longtime companion accused him of brutally assaulting her, telling the police that he had choked her and thrown her against a dresser. She also said that Mr. Johnson had kept her from calling for help.

Twice, the woman was granted a temporary order of protection against Mr. Johnson. But she complained in court that the State Police had pressed her to drop the allegations.

Then, on Feb. 7, the day before a court hearing about a final protective order, Mr. Paterson spoke to her on the phone. She did not show up for the hearing the next day, and the judge dismissed the case.

Domestic-violence experts and advocates said it was inappropriate for the governor, the most powerful state official and a close friend of Mr. Johnson's, to have any contact with the woman. At the same time, questions were emerging about the role of State Police officials, who had initially described their contact with the woman as an effort to offer her counseling and let her know of "her options."

This wasn't the work of Paterson's enemies. It was all him. The Times did its job--which in this case meant diminishing the chance that Paterson gets to keep his.