Private Affair



It doesn’t come as a surprise that following Elliot Spitzer’s resignation his replacement, Gov. David Paterson, would be scrutinized for any past indiscretions. Paterson didn’t disappoint and has admitted to having an extramarital affair for two to three years while he and his wife, Michelle, were having difficulties. For me, this raises some questions.

Why does public need to know about Paterson’s infidelity?

As I write this, I realize I have provided the link to the article on that very subject, making me guilty of promulgating the story. My weak rationale is that the news is already out there and you are likely curious what the New York Daily News article says. Plus, due to the Spitzer scandal, the question was going to be asked of his replacement — the reporter was doing his job. So the answer regarding “public need” is moot; we were going to find out no matter what. However, now that we have found out about this little painful secret, does the new information give us any insight as to how Paterson might govern?

I suggest it doesn’t.

Unless known infidelity is a crime (Michelle Paterson is aware of the affair and had one herself), Paterson and his wife didn’t break any laws. Two people were having marital problems and they each sought comfort in other relationships. There were no call girls; no fancy footwork in bathroom stalls by a hypocrite; malfeasance or perjury. No, this was an up-until-now-private affair, and unless there were laws broken or a history of hypocrisy exposed, it’s time everyone left the Paterson’s marriage alone and let Paterson get on with the job of governing.

David Vitter? Now that’s a different story

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