When New York governor David Paterson's admitted yesterday that, during a rocky period in his marriage, he'd had a relationship of 2 to 3 years with "a woman other than my wife," Josh Marshall joked that he'd "have to do better than this thin gruel to make his mark on the landscape of tri-state governors" such as allegedly prostitute-frequenting Eliot Spitzer and threesome-enjoying Jim McGreevey. Today, Paterson seems to have taken up Marshall's challenge and, while he may still be lagging, he's evidently catching up:

Gov. David Paterson, standing with his wife, Michelle Paige, in the Capitol's Red Room, said his "conscience is clear" when it comes to his marriage and infidelities, but admitted that he was involved with numerous women "several years ago" - including one woman who is currently a staffer in the governor's office....

"I was involved with someone on the state payroll...An employee I may have inherited," Paterson said. "This was known to my wife."...

Paterson [also] said he intervened on behalf of a women with whom he was involved on one occasion when she had a "health issue." Paterson spokeswoman Christine Anderson later said Paterson called this woman's employer and urged that she be able to work from home.

The perceived rationale of Paterson's original admission of infidelity was that it was better getting this all out in the open at once, instead of having it drip out gradually and spawn rumors and innuendo. But that, of course, only works if you get the whole admission out of the way, rather than letting it drip out gradually and spawn rumors and innuendo. Which is to say that if Paterson has any declarations he wants to make about key parties or personal assistants, now is probably the time to make them.

--Christopher Orr