New York Gov. David Paterson huddled with top Democrats on Monday, amid speculation that The New York Times could soon publish a story about the governor that has serious career implications.

There has been no word from the Times about what the story might be, or when it might hit newsstands. But pundits and politicians alike have been ruminating for days now about its possible impact, and one Democrat close to the governor told The Associated Press that it spurred meeting attendants on Monday to discuss Paterson's resignation and reconsider his reelection.


However, Paterson's camp on Monday disputed that account, stressing the governor's strategy meeting was routine.

"The governor started making calls two weeks ago to step up his campaign effort and get ready to officially announce his reelection campaign," said Richard Fife, the governor's campaign spokesman. "The calls were — and are — going well."

"And then look what happens — a coordinated effort to stop him and spread rumors," he added.

A bombshell story from the Times could prove irreparably harmful to Paterson, who was already lagging in preliminary reelection polls. A Siena poll released last month revealed that about six in 10 New Yorkers were ready to send another candidate to their governor's mansion. At the same time, Paterson's unfavorable numbers were almost double his favorable ratings — a clear sign an incumbent's candidacy is imperiled.

However, Paterson has survived other personal scandals. Upon assuming office, following former Gov. Eliot Spitzer's (D) resignation, Paterson admitted to a litany of personal mistakes — from a series of affairs to drug use. Paterson explained each of those indiscretions in detail at an unprecedented 2008 press conference, describing his openness as an attempt to ensure later opponents could not use that information against him or his administration.

But it is unclear what the Times's forthcoming story might reveal. Some media accounts predict the piece could implicate Paterson in another affair, while others say it is only a profile piece. Still, the governor's spokesman lambasted reporters for inventing myths and promoting speculation.

"This is a new low even by the standards of Planet Albany," said Paterson spokesman Peter Kauffmann late Sunday. "The circus of the past week entirely fabricated out of thin air, and innuendo is an embarrassment for all who have played a role in fueling it."