Seven things to know about David Paterson

paterson and spitzer

David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer in 2007.

+ Yes, he really is legally blind. He lost his vision due to an infection in his childhood. One eye is totally blind and the other has 20/400 vision. He can see enough to read for short periods of time, though.

+ He comes from a politically-connected family in Harlem (though he grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island). His dad, Basile Paterson, was in the state senate and later became NY's Secretary of State. David held the same senate seat as his dad before becoming lieutenant governor.

+ He went to Columbia, and then Hofstra law -- but he never passed the bar. He ran out of time in his first and only attempt with someone reading the questions to him and then writing down his answers. (He later worked to change the rules to make the test more accommodating of people with visual impairments.) Paterson apparently intended to re-take the test, but he won a special election for state senate before it ever happened.

Four more after the jump, including where he picked up tips on how to deal with Joe Bruno...

+ Paterson's known as a compromiser and conciliator, almost to a fault. When asked by the New York Observer about whether he's too quick to agree with others, Paterson said, "I think that's right. How do you like that?"

+ He says he's taken lessons for dealing with Joe Bruno from The Godfather.

+ Paterson's a big fan of NY sports teams -- and he occasionally calls into WFAN to talk about sports (link to audio). In February, The Fan's Tony Paige asked him how he has time to listen to sports talk. Paterson's response: "It distracts us from the grim reality of a $4.4 billion budget deficit." And he thinks the Mets deal for Johan Santana was "a steal."

+ He says he's "a frustrated athlete," but he's run a marathon and stolen the basketball from Mario Cuomo in a charity basketball game.


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