If his speech is any indication, New York’s new governor will be everything his predecessor wasn’t. In
addition to being the first blind and black governor of the empire state, David A. Patterson appears to be the ‘yin’ to Elliot Spitzer’s ‘yang.’ To wit:
– Patterson is inclusive and reached out across party lines to ask Republicans and Democrats alike to work together. Sptizer’s pit bull tactics, on the other hand, only served to isolate and anger Albany lawmakers.
– Patterson’s manner was folksy, warm and self-deprecating as opposed to Spitzer’s argumentative and combative style.
– Patterson (and his wife) both came clean asap on prior affairs, thereby circumventing any investigative reporting and subsequent media circus on the subject. No need to compare Spitzer’s transparency on a similar subject.
Patterson has a long way to go and many hurdles to clear, but if day one is any indication, he’s off and running. Communications pros, young and old, should look at ‘the speech’ as a textbook example of connecting with an audience, inspiring confidence and setting the stage for progress. The new governor may be legally blind, but his vision for New York’s future seems crystal clear.
Thanks to Ken Jacobs for the idea.