Paterson Relieved President Didn't Hug Him From Behind

Paterson says President Obama was "gracious to him"

By Melissa Russo
|  Tuesday, Sep 22, 2009  |  Updated 12:45 PM EDT
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Paterson Relieved President Didn't Hug Him From Behind

AP

President Barack Obama greets Gov. David Paterson before speaking about the economy at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

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The White House may have turned its back on David Paterson, but the governor is "really glad" President Obama turned his back on the TV cameras to hug him yesterday. 

Paterson used his quick sense of humor to respond to the embarrassment of the past few days that began when it was leaked that the Obama administration doesn't want Paterson to run for election next year.

Responding to NBCNewYork's question about whether President Obama should have been more gracious to him during his visit to upstate New York yesterday, Paterson said "I thought he was gracious to me."

The Governor said he read some of the media coverage analyzing all the body language between the two men, including the perception that Obama had turned his back to the cameras to avoid being seen hugging Paterson.  

"How else could he have hugged me?" Paterson joked, noting that HE was facing the TV cameras and implying the only alternative would have been for Obama to hug him from behind.

"I'm really glad that he didnt" Paterson said, eliciting laughter from the room full of reporters at Columbia University Medical Center.

On a more serious note, Paterson said Obama yesterday "expressed a little chagrin about the process in this situation." 

Paterson insisted he is absolutely running for election next year. 

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