Paterson’s revenge: Pandering for votes or genuine?

These days, there hasn’t been much love between the race-baiting David Paterson administration in New York and President Obama, so much so, that it sounds like Paterson is getting a bit of revenge against the administration for their lack of support. First it was the criticism from Paterson over Obama admin’s decision to restrict corporate bonus pay (Paterson: “That probably cost New York $1 billion.”) And now, there’s this:

NEW YORK (CBS) – Gov. David Paterson openly criticized the White House on Monday, saying he thought it was a terrible idea to move alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspected terrorists to New York for trial.

“This is not a decision that I would have made. I think terrorism isn’t just attack, it’s anxiety and I think you feel the anxiety and frustration of New Yorkers who took the bullet for the rest of the country,” he said.

Paterson’s comments break with Democrats, who generally support the President’s decision.

“Our country was attacked on its own soil on September 11, 2001 and New York was very much the epicenter of that attack. Over 2,700 lives were lost,” he said. “It’s very painful. We’re still having trouble getting over it. We still have been unable to rebuild that site and having those terrorists so close to the attack is gonna be an encumbrance on all New Yorkers.”

Paterson also said that the White House warned him six months ago this very situation would happen. He said while he disagrees with the decision, he will do everything in his power to make sure that the state’s Department of Homeland Security will keep New Yorkers as safe as possible.

While I have no doubt that Paterson feels like he can more freely speak out against this administration since they’ve been privately pushing him not to run for re-election, I do wonder if his comments today regarding the upcoming KSM trial in NYC is either an attempt to pander to New York voters who have been giving him low ratings for close to a year now, or if it’s genuine. A recent CNN poll showed that a majority of Americans are against a civilian trial for KSM and instead prefer a military trial – but still think it should be in the US. Maybe he’s seen similar numbers for NY?

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