Wednesday, August 27, 2008



August 27, 2008,
By Jeremy W. Peters

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Call it the Galileian stump speech.
Gov. David A. Paterson, continuing his oratorical assault on John McCain as Democrats gather in Denver for their national convention, used a phenomenon known by physicists as the “Parallax Effect” to slam the presumptive Republican nominee.

Mr. Paterson — a lawyer by training, not a physicist — said he thought the metaphor worked as a way of illustrating “how obtuse” and “how distant” Mr. McCain is from most Americans.

“When something is so far away that you cant even measure it, you take an object that’s a little closer. And by knowing the distance between you and that object, you can now assess how far away the third body is,” Mr. Paterson told New Jersey delegates in a speech on Wednesday morning.

As his frame of reference, Mr. Paterson likened President Bush to Pluto, which drew chortles and applause from the audience. “Now President Bush is very distant from what the American public needs,” Mr. Paterson said.

Apparently not content with reserving his satire solely for Mr. McCain, Mr. Paterson slipped in a dig at Mr. Bush, noting that Pluto had been downgraded by astronomers, who no longer consider it a full-fledged planet. “And I think down the road historians will declassify President Bush as president because he was never really elected.”

Then, bringing it back to Mr. McCain, the governor continued, “Just comparing him to President Bush, you know that John McCain is not even in our solar system but is far off in a distant galaxy.”
Mr. McCain and Mr. Bush were not the only distant objects that Mr. Paterson dealt with on Wednesday.

The governor was scheduled to speak to the New Jersey delegation at 9 a.m., but he arrived almost an hour late. When he finally stepped up to the lectern, he noted the lengthy distance between his hotel in downtown Denver and the hotel where New Jersey delegates are staying, which is about 20 miles away.
“I just want you to know this facility is farther away from the Sheraton than any geographic point in New Jersey is from New York,” he said.