Michelle Paterson: Obama Unfair To Tell Gov To Bow Out

First Lady opens up in an exclusive interview

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Michelle Paterson says it was "unfair" the way the White House treated her husband, Gov. David Paterson. (Published Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009)

    In a passionate defense of her husband, New York's first lady Michelle Paterson said it was wrong for the White House to get involved in a local race. 

    "I have never heard of a president asking a sitting governor not to run for reelection," Michelle Paterson told NBC New York in an exclusive interview. "I thought it was very unusual and very unfair."

    Michelle Paterson said she doesn't think the president was rude to Gov. Paterson when he took more time praising Attorney General Andrew Cuomo than he did the governor during a speech upstate on Monday.

    "I think president Obama was pretty gracious to David," Michelle Paterson said. "The president said he was a little chagrined about how the White House handled things."

    But New York's First Lady said was not there to witness the exchange.

    "I was on a wine tour upstate looking for wines for the executive mansion so I don't know that to be the case," Paterson said.

    She admits there have been some very disappointing times recently where it seemed her husband might not be able to survive politically. But she said he's "a fighter" who is staying in the race.

    "This might give Dave the opportunity to show who he really is to New Yorkers,"  the state's First Lady said.

    And Mrs. Paterson says she believes David's blindness is contributing to his low poll numbers.   

    "Most definitely," she said in response to a question about her husband's eyesight being a factor in his political woes. "I think that's one of the things why David really has to come out... people have to see who he is. The whole time I dated David I forgot that he had a sight disability. He has a way of maneuvering and getting around [so] that you forget."

    When Michelle Paterson heard the news that her husband had shaved off his mustache (see picture on left)  since yesterday, she was surprised, saying he was in Albany last night.

    "Well you know he was in Albany last night.. so i haven't seen the removal of the mustache," Michelle Paterson said. "That would be interesting."