White House targeting... Gov. Paterson (D, NY).

They apparently started by making a quiet request that he drop out, and I’m going to guess that Paterson told them ‘no.’ So they leaked the news.

To repeat: so they leaked the news.

ALBANY – In a stunning request, the Obama administration has made it clear to poll-challenged Gov. Paterson that the White House would prefer he not seek election to a full four-year term next year.

The Obama administration sent the message through White House political affairs director Patrick Gaspard, who met with the governor at his campaign headquarters for nearly two hours last Monday, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation.

Let us dispense with the polite fiction that this source is acting with anything less than the full approval of the President of the United States; as Hot Air points out, the same source went to both the New York Times and ABC News. And let us also dispense with any illusion that it’s in the best interests of the Democratic party for Paterson to run for Governor next year: the way things are shaping up, he’d be eviscerated in the general election by the Republican nominee.  Both of those things being noted, though… the phrase that comes to mind from reading this story is ‘ham-handed ruthlessness.’  The ruthlessness is obvious – and will probably be lauded by his most devoted supporters.  Everybody else will note that the President apparently thinks that nobody within the Democratic party has the right to expect that disagreements with him will remain private.

This is not the kind of reputation that the President wants to get, by the way.  It’s the fastest way I know of to make sure that everybody around him starts giving him the mushroom treatment, out of sheer self-preservation…

Moe Lane

Crossposted to Moe Lane.