Sworn in today, New York Gov. David Paterson (D) has admitted in an interview that during a rocky period in his marriage to his wife Michelle, between 1999 and 2001, he carried on an affair with another woman — probably a wise admission given the circumstances surrounding his predecessor’s political demise.
But I have to say that Paterson will have to do better than this thin gruel to make his mark on the landscape of tri-state governors. In fact, the competition seems to be escalating even in recent days.
In 2004, Jim McGreevey resigned as Governor of New Jersey after admitting to an affair with his dubiously qualified homeland security advisor, Golan Cipel, and coming out as a “gay American.” Then last week former Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) significantly upped the ante by admitting to being a habitual user of extremely high-priced prostitutes. But over the weekend, despite having left the political game, McGreevey engineered the revelation of the fact that, while still professedly heterosexual in the years just before winning the governorship, he and his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, routinely engaged in threesomes with a young McGreevey staffer. Still more lurid, the trysts usually began with Friday night dinner at TGI Friday’s.
This most recent news would seem to put McGreevey back firmly in the saddle in the regional gubernatorial shagstakes. And Patterson appears to realize he simply cannot compete.