Would Paterson appoint another woman to replace Clinton?

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Gov. David Paterson doesn’t think he would be obligated to appoint another woman to replace Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton if she becomes a member of President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet.

“I wouldn’t feel obligated,” Paterson said. “But I’m not really going to think about that or address that kind of an issue until and if she leaves.”

Interviewed by Gannett News Service as he walked to a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Washington, Paterson declined to comment on whether Clinton should leave the Senate.

“I think that’s a decision she has to make,” he said. “I prefer her to (be) where she feels she can make the greatest contribution.”

Earlier in the day, upstate Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter said she left a message on Clinton’s cell phone urging her to stay in the Senate. “She is an internationally known and beloved figure already,” said Slaughter. “And it’s my opinion that giving up elected office for appointed office is a pretty jolting thing to do. I really would like it if she stays where she is.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer declined to comment on what his advice to Clinton would be. “Any advice I give to her will be private,” he said.

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