Gov. Paterson Says People ‘Nervous’ Over Minorities in Office; White House: Obama Doesn’t Agree

David Saltonstall and Kenneth Lovett, New York Daily News, August 24, 2009

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The governor is blaming race for his political troubles again–saying some people are uncomfortable seeing so many black politicians in power.

“Part of what I feel is that one very successful minority is permissible, but when you see too many success stories, then some people get nervous,” Paterson told political blogger Gerson Borrero in a report posted Monday.

His angry rhetoric came on the heels of a rant on Friday, when he told Daily News columnist Errol Louis that he is a victim of an “orchestrated” media campaign to push him from office.

He claimed President Obama is next on the target list.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Monday the President does not believe criticism of him is necessarily racially motivated.

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[Paterson] said he understands the criticism over the budget and the Senate leadership battle, but Paterson suggested to Borrero that he is held to a different standard.

“It seems I have to work twice as hard as others,” he said.

And it still bothers him that people refer to him as the “accidental governor.” He took office last year after former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal.

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Paterson did back away from at least one assertion–that the media, as a whole, are racist.

“I don’t think the media has acted in a racist way, but I have felt stereotyped at times,” he said.

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Meanwhile, a new Siena Research Institute poll taken before the governor’s comments Friday showed his job approval rating at a meager 23% and his favorability rating at just 32%.

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