Perhaps Paterson thinks (or at least says) that he's got the Democratic primary in the bag next year, but the reality of the situation is far from it. Paterson must deal with a very dissatisfied public following the Senate appointment fiasco and especially the budget debacle where Dr. Transparency morphed into Mr. Secrecy. The weekend before last the governor responded to the LCA with a skit that lampooned the efforts of the unions in the budget process and apparently that feeling goes beyond the stage he performed his skit on. The unions' fusion party, the WFP is being left out of the process by Paterson and he doesn't seem to care. What does that mean for Paterson's chances then?
From The NY Daily News:
Paterson has very few friends left after his first year and this attitude of misplaced centrism (this is New York, not North Dakota) will not fool conservatives nor please the Democratic base that puts the man (or someday a woman) into the Governor's mansion. Working Families Party may not be the all-powerful constituency in the state, but if their focus is elsewhere, such as putting more labor-friendly Dems in office then Paterson may find himself getting an education far from the halls of power in Albany.
The WFP is unlikely to endorse a Democratic challenger against the state's first black governor - if one emerges - and almost certainly wouldn't support Rudy Giuliani or any other Republican.
Still, an unenthusiastic WFP could hurt the governor when it comes to the get-out-the-vote operation for which the party is well-known. In addition, tensions between the WFP and Paterson could leave the party less inclined to help Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith widen his 32-to-30 majority - and more likely to back challengers against his members.
"[Smith] can't deliver for the governor," the source said. "[Paterson] has to help the Senate win more seats. The governor alienating some of the very forces central to helping Malcolm is not smart."