Unfinished Business

13 Mar

I found NYCO’s postmortem on the aborted Spitzer governorship to be directly on-point for pretty much all of beleaguered upstate New York. Particularly:

I remember attending a Spitzer speech on saving cities, before the election. I was trying to get a feel for his ideas and rhetoric, what sort of inspiring inaugural speech he might give us, what grasp of imagery he had, what fresh ideas for Syracuse he might have. It felt like a very wonky speech, without much new in it. I thought this was just a style we would have to get used to, and wait and watch harder for the breaks of light in the rhetorical clouds. But those breaks of light never really came.

Spitzer, as governor, made the rounds of Upstate cities and to Syracuse. What ideas would he bring with him beyond the usual promises of aid and gifts? What was our role in his master plan? But nothing new was unveiled; he just met with local movers and shakers, proclaimed their pre-existing plans good — plans that didn’t always completely enthuse local alternative thinkers. “Right… carry on.” He also hired an “Upstate Czar,” something which seemed like a good idea, and still does I suppose (I wonder what will become of Dan Gundersen now?). But I couldn’t help feeling that whenever Spitzer came here, he was not really paying attention. Of course he couldn’t; this is a huge state; but…

And of course, the little disappointments unfolded against a constant state of war.

Hope after hope, continued waiting and hoping, and little disappointments here and there. And questions floating in, vague wonderings if Spitzer really “got it.” Of course he did. How could he not? All one needed to do was wait just a little while longer.

We had an understanding, Eliot and I.

And now we trade a headstrong, combative downstate executive for a more conciliatory, likeable downstate executive. There is very little that an Albany pol can learn about upstate’s problems by doing a weekly run up and down the Taconic. Spitzer leaves mass quantities of unfinished business – both macro and micro. Paterson may be a nice guy, but I get the sense that he’ll be more of a caretaker, keeping the heat on while waiting for the next superhero to be elected savior in 2010.

Oh, and don’t for a second believe all of Mayor Brown’s talk about how close he is with David Paterson, and how this bodes well for Brown’s clout in Albany, and for Buffalo.

Steve Casey didn’t get his job with then-minority leader Paterson by dint of his resume alone, and there was a lot more going on during Brown’s senate tenure than just the re-naming of street signs. Brown was the vote that swung the minority post Paterson’s way, and it didn’t come without some major dealmaking. Dealmaking that Paterson may not remember as fondly as does Brown.

2 Responses to “Unfinished Business”

  1. NYCO March 14, 2008 at 8:00 am #

    “There is very little that an Albany pol can learn about upstate’s problems by doing a weekly run up and down the Taconic.”

    His daughter attends Ithaca College, so I’m reasonably sure he is aware there is intelligent life west of Albany.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Eliot Spitzer » Unfinished Business - April 11, 2008

    […] Buffalopundit wrote an interesting post today on Unfinished BusinessHere’s a quick excerptI remember attending a Spitzer speech on saving cities, before the election. I was trying to get a feel for his ideas and rhetoric, what sort of inspiring inaugural speech he might give us, what grasp of imagery he had, what fresh ideas … […]

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