Spin Cycle

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

  Reacting to criticism from his predecessor, Gov. David A. Paterson says he thought Kirsten Gillibrand was “the best candidate” to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Senate.

  He told Syracuse’s WPHR radio that he was “happy” to tap an upstate woman “and one who I think has great ability” after Clinton was named secretary of state a year ago.

    But the man who picked Paterson as running mate in 2006, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, said last week  he would have never appointed Gillibrand, a former congresswoman, “under any circumstances” because her “views on issues are either wrong or too malleable.”

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   He told Albany’s WAMC radio, “We need people in leadership now who know what they believe, who are willing to stand up and state what they believe and make tough decisions...I just think on every one of those scores, she fails.”

    Gillibrand aides said Spitzer’s criticism wasn’t a surprise given that she was among the first to call for his resignation for patronizing prostitutes. Spitzer also blasted the White House from discouraging a primary challenge of Gillibrand.