Obama Choosing Sides before Midterm Elections

Looking forward to midterm elections looming next fall, President Obama puts his popularity and fundraising prowess behind Senate incumbents in Pennsylvania, Colorado and New York.President Barack Obama hasn't been shy about choosing sides to prevent Democratic Party primaries.

Meanwhile, the White House also made it known that it's concerned about New York Gov. David Paterson's bid for a full term. Or, more specifically, that it's worried that an unpopular governor could not just lose but also drag down the ticket, putting Senate and House seats in jeopardy.

The implied — if not direct — message: Don't run.

Not that Obama had anything negative to say Monday — at least in public — when he traveled to Albany, N.Y. The president called Paterson "a wonderful man" during an unrelated appearance at Hudson Valley Community College after the governor greeted Obama when Air Force One landed.

But Obama also publicly recognized Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic state attorney general who has long eyed the gubernatorial office once held by his father, Mario Cuomo. "Andrew's doing great work enforcing the laws that need to be enforced," Obama said as he cast a warm smile toward Cuomo.

A full year before the 2010 elections, the president clearly has embraced his other job, party standard-bearer. To varying degrees, every White House puts its hands in political races. But presidents before Obama didn't face a 24/7 news culture that seemingly has the spotlight shining much brighter on the White House — and presidential maneuvering in electoral politics, The Associated Press reports.

It was also reported, former and current state leaders are criticising President Obama for interfering in New York's gubernatorial politics. Governor Paterson over the weekend was asked to respond to published reports that President Obama had "lost confidence" in Paterson's ability to win the next election. Former Governor Pataki says the President is overstepping his bounds.

"To weaken and undermine the governor beyond the weakness that already exists at a time when he will be the governor for the next 15 months, to me just doesn't serve the interest of the state, doesn't serve the interest of the country," Pataki says, WNYC reports.

in the meantime, former President Bill Clinton says New York's Gov. David Paterson is "not in good shape now" politically, but that Paterson ultimately will consider what's best for his state before deciding whether to run next year.

Interviewed on NBC's "Today" show Tuesday, Clinton called Paterson "a good man" and said he trusted him to "make a good decision."

Paterson's place in New York's political firmament has been under heavy questioning in recent months, and there have been indications the White House is not enthusiastic about Eliot Spitzer's successor running in 2010. President Barack Obama recognized Paterson at a public event in Troy, N.Y. Monday, but also gave a shout out to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who's said to be interested in moving up to the governor's mansion, The Associated Press reports.

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