Gov. David Paterson began his second state of the state today with a powerful appeal to the legislators and others in attendance to meet the three challenges facing the state — its economy, finances and ethics. He was hard-hitting on the fiscal crisis and ethics reform and offered uplifting words about the state’s economic future. However, his speech would have had a more powerful impact had he talked about the economy first since little in what he is proposing is controversial and waited until the end of the speech to challenge the legislature to address the state’s budgetary problems and the public’s lack of confidence in its elected officials. New York needs a leader who will hold the Legislature’s feet to the fire of change. David Paterson has the vision, but whether he has the fire in his belly (or the political leverage) to make it happen is still in doubt after this speech. The next big test of course will come in a few weeks when he presents his budget. That’s where the metal as they say will hit the road.
State of the State Began with a Bang; Ended with a Whimper