September 27th, 2009
12:25 PM ET
14 years ago

'I'm blind but I'm not oblivious,' Paterson says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" In an interview Sunday, Gov. Paterson left his descriptions vague about discussions with the White House, saying he would not detail 'confidential conversations.'"]
(CNN) - Embattled New York Gov. David Paterson vowed Sunday he won't give in to White House pressure to drop out of next year's election, insisting, "I am not failing to stand up for my party."

Speaking to NBC's "Meet the Press," the governor - facing approval ratings below 20 percent - said "there are a lot of people who have told me not to run."

"I'm blind but I'm not oblivious," he said. "I realize that there are people who don't want me to run."

Paterson, the nation's first legally blind governor, said, "I have spent a whole life being told I couldn't do things. I was told by guidance counselors I shouldn't go to college."

"I was told, when I was minority leader of the Senate, that we couldn't win the majority. We won eight seats in four years and won the majority." Paterson also noted that a court his week upheld his appointment of a lieutenant governor, disproving those who said it would not be upheld. The message to him, Paterson said, "was that you don't give up."

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Filed under: David Paterson • New York • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Peter

    We want Eliot Laurence Spitzer back !!! and then we legalize polygamism!! in New York

    September 27, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Karol

    It's not because he's blind, or even "oblivious". The guy's not an effective governor. That's why he's catching heat.

    September 27, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. No Hillary = No Obama

    Just like Hillary got whacked over the head with a sexist 2 x 4 , Paterson is getting blind sighted all over again. This is plain and simple discrimination. Why shouldn't a visually impaired person have equal access to power? Obama makes me sick.

    September 27, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Bubble of Sanity

    At least Governor Patterson has a physical excuse. I hurt for my country as I see millions of blind people of all ages and social standings hurtling themselves of a cliff of eternal debt and socialist dependency.

    Disney made up the lemming thing to make a movie. Animals are too smart to do that; unfortunately, Americans have bought it and we rush over the cliff of socialism. Soon we will be just like the rest of the world and there will be no place for oppressed people to escape to.

    September 27, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Pam

    There is a very high liklihood that Patterson will lose. He doesn't hav e the "IT" factor to win an election for Governor. His blindness or race has nothing to do with it. His inability to lead such a state has everything to do with it. This he has proven.

    September 27, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    approval rating UNDER 20 PERCENT and he's still going to run? Blind is right!

    September 27, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    I don't think David Paterson's BLINDNESS has anything to do with his INCOMPETENCE.

    However, he is making it seem as if it is his BLINDNESS that is making others feel he is INCOMPETENT!!!

    New Yorkers help me out – which one is it????

    September 27, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Operation Replacement

    The White House and the Kennedys fear a Rudy Giuliani victory in
    New York if Patterson runs. That would put the Republicans back
    in the game in 2012. Look for Patrick Despard to float a can a blind
    guy win? message.

    September 27, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Tina Jones

    Yes he is oblivious,, oblivious to the fact that he gave millions of dollars to welfare families for school supplies but did not realize that they would most likely spend it on beer and cigarettes so I guess stupid would be a better word for him.

    September 27, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Jane wants the truth

    Good for you Paterson! If I lived in NY, I would vote for you.

    September 27, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Rose

    New Yorkers are right, Obama should butt out. For Obama it is all about the the expansion of his party and he doesn't care whose feet he steps on.

    September 27, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Simmy

    It's not about the "what you can or can't dos" Gov....It's about your ability to do the "right things" under pressure.....I saw you bow to pressure, and intimidate Ms. Kennedy to the point of causing her to drop her bid for the Senate.....It was also rumored that you made disparaging remarks about her as well....Cutting to the chase, you do not seem to be your own man.....Once in office, you'll be up for grabs......Some bodies will own you......

    It's requires more than your race and or disabilities to become the right candidate for the job, so please don't go off on a 'pity the victim' tangent....The state of your state and its citizens deserve the best person for the task.....Don't make this about one black man against another...President Obama has already proven himself....To everything there is a season...This is his season It may not be yours.....Please don't take it personally....It's purely political....

    September 27, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Hugo

    If you are blind, how would you know the difference between white, black, green or brown? I guess if the card fits play it to your benefit, seems to work for others in politics...Maybe they can have a beer together and co-aurthor some books for some pocket money.

    September 27, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Steve, New York City

    Kind of incredible that people are still talking about this – instead of seeing them as two high-profile politicians, this is still news because it's two high-profile black politicians . . . and many Americans seem to be hopelessly obsessed with skin color!

    Enough of this nonsense – let's just judge each of them solely on the merits of their job performance (or lack thereof) – otherwise, these side stories are just another set of "distractions" for the dim-witted.

    September 27, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Tim

    Obama is destroying the Democratic Party. It was bound to happen.

    GOP revolution in 2010 and 12!

    September 27, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Governor Paterson seems to be mistaking his own personal political ambition with "standing up for his party". It has become clear that he is a liability to the Democrats, both here in NY and across the country, since the next election cycle will include his very weak senate appointee, Kristen Gillibrand.

    While NY doesn't tend to vote for Republicans, there are a couple lurking out there (Pataki and Giuliani) who may very well step into the race for governor, or senator, or BOTH!

    I'd feel much better if both Paterson AND Gillibrand decided not to run for re-election....for the good of the state AND the good of the party.

    September 27, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Beverly- NYC

    When I cast my vote for Governor I primarily voted for Spitzer. While it was a great for him to choose a person with a disability as his running mate, face it no one really expected Paterson to be the Governor. Disability or not he has not proven his mettle, start with Caroline Kennedy fiasco and the current do nothing Assembly in Albany and he does not have a leg to stand on. Move aside for the good of the party and NY, give Cuomo and Bllomberg a chance to run the City and State.

    September 27, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    I'm sure David Paterson will do what is best for the Demoratic Party.
    He isa loyal member of whom we can be proud.

    September 27, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. peter vaguely

    President Obama is the at the top of the hierarchy of the Democratic Party. His opinion is probably more important than the Chairman of the party. People's lack of sophistication and savvy regarding party politics is baffling to me. The political process is not some mysterious secret society. If you sit on the sidelines and don't get involved it will always seem esoteric and you will always feel you are being manipulated. Your sense of powerlessness is the result of your own isolation.

    President Obama has every right and, in fact, a duty to be involved in the political process nationwide.

    September 27, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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