Is Obama Skittish About New York Democrats or Just Black Democrats?

by Paul I. Adujie

The reader is familiar with clichés such as, 15 months is an eternity in politics; as well as, the staunch belief that so much can change within such an extended period time. And further, that all is fair politics; as all is also fair, in love and war! It therefore necessarily follows, that 15 long months before the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in the state of New York, is too long, upon which predicting precise outcomes can be ultra hazardous.

President Obama’s White House is said to have concluded that Governor David Paterson of the state of New York should not run in the gubernatorial election slated for more than 15 months ahead. This is so ironical in the most oxymoronic way, considering the fact that many have had the audacity and temerity, of writing off, a certain junior senator from the state of Illinois, as an upstart-non-starter, when he embarked on his storied run for the American presidency! But now, President Obama’s is said to have urged or even demanded, that Governor Paterson withdraw and remove himself from contesting the gubernatorial election, scheduled for next year November 2010; just as our president has been lukewarm-reluctant to endorse Comptroller Bill Thompson, the mayoral candidate on the plank of the Democratic Party.

Coincidentally, Messrs Paterson and Thompson are both persons of African descent just like President Obama himself, they are, trailblazers in their own rights. President Obama’s refusal to embrace these two gentlemen raises a red flag in American perceived racial progress. Mr. Obama ascension and spectacular rise to the ultimate political position in America is unsurpassed. But, it certainly, cannot be the case that Mr. Obama’s rise is seen and used as reason to foreclose current political aspirations of all other African Americans. All African Americans with requisite qualifications, experience and pedigree, that is, those with necessary antecedents, who seek public or political office, at municipal and state levels, during the pendency of Mr. Obama’s administration of four or eight years, as his fate may become, should not be told that the “quota” is filled and to forget it, because Mr. Obama is president. Or because Mr. Obama’s presidency does not want to offend or be in some people’s face, by campaigning in public or endorsing a qualified and competent African American, who, like Governor Paterson and Comptroller Thompson, have been political office holder, before anyone heard of our lovely President Obama.

President Obama’s presence and occupancy of American presidency, and tenancy, in the White House, is not, and cannot be seen as mutually exclusive or contradictory, in terms, with the aspirations to political positions by other African Americans.

Let me be clear, I do not advocate that President Obama become partial and lopsided in his support for candidates who seek political positions, solely judged by the color of their skins. No! Instead, what we have observed and what is occurring in pattern-like manner, is Mr. Obama’s apparent shyness, timidity and timorous disposition, toward political candidates who are members of Mr. Obama’s own Democratic Party, who are at the same time, persons of African descent!

It certainly cannot be, that Mr. Obama’s only recourse, is to speedily distance himself, from members of his party, who are candidates for political office, just because such candidates are African Americans, and, as a consequence, Mr. Obama is weary at the thought of being seen as openly supporting a qualified African Americans, who are candidates for political offices.

It certainly cannot be the case, that the only way for President Obama to demonstrate his fair-minded reputation is to unnecessarily and even unfairly, distance himself from sundry African Americans who are candidates for political offices.

It is tad trite or trivial to restate here that, it is quite understandable that Mr. Obama continues to demonstrate through his pronouncements and actions, that he is president of the entire United States. And that, as such, he must not make pronouncements or take any actions, which might portray him as partial to Native Americans, African Americans, Latino Americans, American Jews, Irish Americans, Italian Americans or German Americans etc To do so will cheapen and undermine his presidency. It will be seen as is inappropriate, unconstitutional, or even illegal. President Obama, as such, must remain even-handed across the board, to all American citizens, regardless of their ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.

Haven restated the obvious, in the need for neutrality and objectivity in dealings with all segments of the American population, it must be made even clearer, that such efforts cannot and must not be in derogation to the interests and political aspirations of candidates of African descent. In New York, President Obama has directly and deliberately, in a calculated manner, displayed dealing a bad hand for negative outcomes in New York City mayoral contest, as well as the state of New York’s forthcoming gubernatorial contest in November 2010.

It cannot be that the only way for President Obama to accomplish these objectives is to marginalize, undermine and deny access and rides on Obama’s coattails to African American career politicians and careerists who predated President Obama in politics.

AIG, Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Citibank Citigroup, Chase Bank etc are premier American financial institutions, which have all been major players and as well as noticeable landmarks in New York City, a city which is alternatively known as the financial capital of the United States and even the entire world! These are also the corporations which form the bulk of New York City and state of New York tax base. This means that New York as the home of Wall Street and the stock exchanges and sundry financial institutions, have suffered a direct hit, and frontal depletion of city and state usually reliable tax base; hence, the city and state of New York, have had to endure higher unemployment rate and other various tangible and intangible economic and financial dislocations as a result of the global economic meltdown, in which the city and state of New York, have been the ground zero and epicenter, in the global economic depression.

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence would not and should not, blame President Obama for inheriting three wars. Mr. Obama is burdened with two foreign wars, and one domestic war. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, were not initiated by Mr. Obama, and yet, he is haven to expend time, energy and increasingly sparse and scarce American resources on these foreign wars. On the home front, Mr. Obama inherited and he is burdened with, an economy in shambles, through no fault of his. He has had to confront and fathom solutions to an American economy which was close to foisting upon America, a major catastrophe which almost drove America to the precipice. There was fear, at some point recently, of a replication the bread lines and other depressing indices of the Great Depression.

In view of the foregoing and despite my distaste for the Republicans, there were times in 2008 election season, during which I became sort of ambivalent about victory at the polls for the Democratic Party. I thought perhaps, it will be poetic justice for the Republicans to retain the White House, so that they retain the beguiling efforts of cleaning up the quagmire in Iraq, Afghanistan and the economic meltdown in the United States and worldwide. This is so, in particular, as it must be remembered that the Republicans brought about these economic dislocations with Republicans’ bizarrely cavalier deregulation regimens. The Republicans preached and adopted a deregulation mantra, akin to operating a major highway or traffic artery without a traffic cop and traffic lights, while discounting the obvious risks of traffic chaos.

Ambivalence or not, on my part, Democrats won and Mr. Obama became president. And it is absurd and

sublimely ridiculous to ascribe the challenges, which America currently faces, as Mr. Obama’s faults or as a consequence of ineptness! It is similarly absurd and utterly ridiculous, to blame the economic debacle, high rate of unemployment and depleted tax base, to which the city and state of New York is bedeviled on current political leaders of city and state of New York. As a corollary, it is equally absurd and ridiculous, to associate Governor Paterson and Comptroller Bill Thompson, with any faults or ineptness in the economic dire straits facing our city and state of New York!

It is my view, considering all these, therefore, that President Obama and his White House know more than I know and have attempted to explain above. These currently prevailing circumstances, clearly means that, they could have advisedly taken the above explanations to the electorates in New York City and the state of New York, seeking understanding and craving indulgences and prevail on the electorate; thus ensuring the election of Bill Thompson and the re-election of Governor Paterson respectively.

If President Obama campaigns in Virginia where Democrats are not the frontrunners and similarly campaigned and embraced Governor Corzine in neighboring state of New Jersey, in which Mr. Corzine struggles in the polls, why not do the same in New York? After all, Governor Corzine’s New Jersey Democrats have been suffering from self-inflicted almost mortal wounds and negative publicities, arising from plethora of criminalities, body-parts sale, pay-to-play bribes for contracts scandals involving the arrests and indictments of 44 politicians.

Governor Paterson of New York does not suffer from any of these New Jersey type Chicago politics. Governor Paterson has no personal or political associate related controversies. And, the governorship elections for the state of New York is more than a year away, during which time, the state of New York’s economy would have, in all likelihood improved, with better labor or employment market situation, especially, if we trust President Obama’s federal government administration own forecasts!

But what has happened and still happening, is that President Obama and his White House, seemed to have made a lazily politically expedient calculation, which forecasts a painless jettisoning of both Messrs Paterson and Thompson. It is my view that President Obama and his White House would squander valuable capital, with New York electorate, with Obama’s calculated distance and ill-articulated default positions on Messrs Paterson and Thompson.

In the particular case of Governor Paterson, President Obama’s attempt to shove the legally blind governor, and first governor of the state of New York with disability, who is as well, a person of African descent, could actually be problematic for Mr. Obama in the future. Governor Paterson and his handlers could ensure that the governor remains in the gubernatorial race. The governor, his handlers and the rest of us, the electorate, could feel sufficiently offended, and then, rally the troops in support of the besieged governor during the next 15 months, to ensure his re-election. Governor Paterson’s re-election can actually be finagle, through the proper articulation of Mr. Obama’s purported snob, interference and usurpation of the governor and New Yorkers

In effect, Governor Paterson could still, rally New Yorkers to his side and corral his re-election, while carefully, thoughtfully and prodigiously, explaining the effect of the financial crises on city and state of New York’s tax base and the consequences of all that, on public finances and the correlative effect on public spending.

Governor Paterson and New Yorkers would have resoundingly repudiated all those who wanted to humiliate or usurp him and the state of New York electorate, 15 long months before the elections. And scuttle outside interferences in New York elections. Yes we can!

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1 comment

CEO October 14, 2009 - 11:07 am

As an Independent thinker in the United States’ political sides; this question may answer your question: In the early days of Obama’s show of interest and campaign for the US Presidency, how many of these guys supported him? Some of the Black leaderships even questioned the source of his financing. I am not advocating for an eye for an eye here, but Obama’s initial support from the Black community came from regular folks while the leadership was still very loyal to the Obama opponents in the primaries. Many of Obama’s proposed policies are targeted for the regular persons, hence he is being called a socialist. Don’t be fooled, Obama is looking out for black folks.


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