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Paterson and Cuomo With Obama In Troy

Word of President Obama delving into the New York governor race could not have come at a more awkward time, as he now speaks within miles of the state capital in Albany. Gov. David Paterson (D) met Obama at the airport when he arrived, and is now attending his event at Hudson Valley Community College.

As he began his remarks, Obama did acknowledge Paterson, calling him a "wonderful man." He had a bit more to say about the man state and national Democrats might prefer to be on the ballot in 2010: Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. The president jokingly called him "shy and retiring," and said he's doing great work as the A.G.

When Paterson greeted Obama at the Albany airport, the two "had a brief exchange that looked cordial," according to a pool report. "The shook hands, Obama did a kind of half-embrace with his back to the press corps, and said something to Paterson, who listened for a moment and then said something back."

En route to New York, Robert Gibbs addressed the reports that Obama has asked Paterson to step aside.

"I think everybody understands the tough jobs that every elected official has right now in addressing many of the problems that we have, and I think people are aware of the tough situation that the governor of New York is in," he said. "I wouldn't add a lot to what you've read, except this is a decision that he's going to make."

Gibbs would not say whether anyone has asked Paterson not to run. But he acknowledged that Obama, as head of the party, has been involved in politics.

"To quote Paul Begala, not to be involved in politics would be like taking the math out of physics," he said.

Also joining Obama at his event today is Rep. Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.), who won a special election to represent the region earlier this year.