They were on their best behavior last night.
That is Gov. David A. Paterson and his presumed primary challenger Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and her possible primary foe Harold Ford Jr.
The four were all seated at the same table during a scholarship dinner for the state Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators Inc. A chair separated Paterson and Cuomo, while Gillibrand and Ford were opposite each other.
Serving as buffers were state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, former New York City Comptroller William Thompson, former Assemb. Arthur O. Eve of Buffalo and Assemb. Nick Perry (D-Brooklyn) and his wife.
No bread was thrown. The knives and forks were used for their intended purpose and not to wound a possible foe.
Paterson and Cuomo chatted pleasantly and at one point shared a joke that had Paterson in stitches.
But Ford and Gillibrand were merely cordial. He listened intently as she addressed the crowd. She had left by the time he rose to deliver the keynote speech after 10 p.m., however.