Fare Thee Well, David Paterson

So David Paterson isn't going to run again.  Not exactly unexpected.  But it's rather a pity.

David Paterson is not a great politician.  He was selected to balance out the ticket, and only stepped into the office because Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign.

But when the state had a crushing budget deficit, he made some hard choices.  Unpopular choices, which a better politician wouldn't have made--but which are ultimately the reason that New York is not yet California.

His behavior over the aide who is accused of choking his girlfriend probably merits the withdrawal from politics.  But let's not kid ourselves; protecting favored aides in situations like this is par for the course in the political class, not some aberration peculiar to Paterson.  It's not all that likely that we'll get a higher degree of moral probity from whoever succeeds him in the governor's office.  But it's quite likely that we'll get a lower level of willingness to make tough calls when the chips are down.

Thumbnail photo credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images