Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The governor's address

One can't help but marvel at Gov. Paterson's ability to make a coherent speech, with plenty of specifics and statistics, no less, given that he does it from memory, without a TelePrompter, notes or Braille. His State of the State this afternoon ran longer the many, at well over an hour, making it all the more remarkable.

As for the content, there were no real surprises, since he's already released the Executive Budget. And the economy has left little room for happy thoughts.

But I thought the governor's key point was at the beginning, after the usual introductions of dignitaries, when he urged legislators to show courage (I'd use the word backbone) in addressing the state's plights.

The implication was clear: Many lawmakers in New York have been motivated more by pressure from lobbyists and the desire to curry favor with voters than they have in being statesmen and women.

If there ever was a time for tough decisions for the good of the state, it is now. The governor challenged legislators to do the right thing.

"We cannot solve our problems overnight or without sacrifice; they run too deep for that," Paterson said.

Our state's "accidental governor" is trying to stand up and be the kind of leader any good government requires. Hopefully, the rank and file will lead with him.
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