The Times, in a piece about how tax and housekeeper issues may have helped derail Caroline Kennedy's Senate bid, captures the wildly contradictory signals emanating from Governor Paterson and those around him:

Mr. Paterson, according to two well-placed Democrats told of his thinking, was leaning toward selecting Representative Kirsten E. Gillibrand, an upstate lawmaker in her second term in Congress.... The person close to the governor said Mr. Paterson “never had any intention of picking Kennedy” because he had come to consider her unready for the job....

But other Democratic operatives and people who talked to the governor disputed that account, and said that he had all but decided to select Ms. Kennedy as senator, and that his staff was arranging a press conference for late this week. An aide to Ms. Kennedy said Thursday that while Ms. Kennedy had not been told for certain that she was the choice, there were strong indications that she would be....

Several people who have spoken to the governor said he had decided on Ms. Kennedy some time ago. A Democrat operative with ties to Mr. Paterson said the governor told Ms. Kennedy last week that she was the choice, but that he would use the next few days to do “a little misdirection to keep the suspense up.”

A person close to the governor adamantly denied that assertion.

Whatever you thought of the prospect of Kennedy being appointed to Hillary Clinton's Senate seat, this is an absolute embarrassment.

--Christopher Orr