Why now? It could have come out before the five-show Sunday the administration was planning for itself. Why now, when Obama is battling to pass healthcare reform? Why now, when he is trying rebound from his own summer-sink in the polls? Why couldn't this have waited for, say, early next year, or Christmas?
 
Some Democrats in New York are pleased Obama is stepping in to try and save a political disaster from occuring — Rudy Giuliani wins the governor's office just in time for redistricting. But others aren't pleased. Everyone is shocked, and for good reason. I can't recall presidents inserting themselves into primary elections as Obama has done with Sen. Arlen Specter (D) against Rep. Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania. This move with Paterson confirms that Obama, for all his talk about being post-partisan, is happy to play party boss.
 
And Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele raised an interesting question, asking why Obama hadn't abandoned Gov. Jon Corzine (D) in New Jersey, who had similarly dismal public approval ratings. "I found that to be stunning, that the White House would send word to one of only two black governors in the country not to run for reelection," he said.
 

DID DOING ALL THOSE TALK SHOWS HELP HEALTHCARE REFORM? Ask A.B. returns Tuesday, Sept. 22. Please join my weekly video Q&A by sending your questions and comments to askab@thehill.com. Thank you.