Now the piling on will begin, with Obama providing the needed cover: Obama Said to Request That Paterson Drop Campaign
President Obama has sent a request to Gov. David A. Paterson that he withdraw from the New York governor’s race, fearing that Mr. Paterson cannot recover from his dismal political standing . . . .
[A]dministration officials and the Democratic operative spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions with the governor were intended to be confidential.
The move against a sitting Democratic governor represents an extraordinary intervention into a state political race by the president, and is a delicate one, given that Mr. Paterson is one of only two African-American governors in the nation.
But Mr. Obama’s political team and other party leaders have grown increasingly worried that the governor’s unpopularity could drag down Democratic members of Congress in New York, as well as the Democratic-controlled Legislature, in next fall’s election.
The general election is more than a year away, but Mr. Obama and his political team are moving now in part because of signals from Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, that he may run for governor, according to Democrats who have spoken with White House officials. Many Democratic leaders believe that Mr. Giuliani’s presence at the top of the Republican ticket could spark enthusiasm among his party’s voters, who might otherwise have little desire to go to the polls.
Leading Democrats in the state have expressed deep concern about Mr. Paterson’s ability to hold on to the office. But most have been wary of openly suggesting he step aside.
The White House move could give them cover to abandon Mr. Paterson and endorse another candidate, most likely Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, who has been debating for months whether to take on Mr. Paterson in a primary.