Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Taking a different angle on the pending departure of Pope Benedict XVI, CNN ponders how do leaders know when it's time to go.

To illustrate, CNN brings you ex-New York Gov. George Pataki, who stepped down after three terms rather than run for a fourth.

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Pataki said he embraced normalcy after he left politics. Here's a snippet of the feature:

A year or two after he left office, Pataki went to Madison Square Garden with a group of friends to see the Knicks play. And he wanted to stand in line to get himself a hot dog -- something elected officials tend not to do.

“I loved it,” he says. Even though fellow fans recognized him and offered to let him jump the queue, Pataki waited in line for his hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut. “I felt really good about the fact that it was just comfortable for me to be on line with the rest,” he says.