From the New York Times:

When Gov. David A. Paterson began consulting with his aides about picking a replacement for Hillary Rodham Clinton, they had one overriding message: First do no harm to yourself.

The potential benefits of any choice were few and fleeting, they said. But the potential costs of mishandling it — to the governor’s stature, to his political authority and even to his election chances — were immense.

Two months later, some of Mr. Paterson’s own advisers say their worst fears have been realized…

One Democratic political consultant, who requested anonymity to candidly assess the governor’s performance, said Mr. Paterson had inadvertently pulled off something staggering: alienating three of the most powerful political families in state and national politics at the same time.

“He’s managed to anger, in one fell swoop, the Kennedys, the Cuomos and the Clintons,” the consultant said, arguing that Ms. Kennedy’s family would be furious at the governor over the leaks against her, Mr. Cuomo at being passed over for the job, and Mrs. Clinton at the governor’s willingness to consider Ms. Kennedy in the first place after she endorsed Barack Obama in the presidential race last year.

“That’s a pretty good trifecta,” the consultant added.

Read the entire article here…

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