Gov. David Paterson, who will choose U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton’s successor in the Senate, was in a cabinet meeting this morning when she was nominated. Paterson, who stood by Clinton during her failed run for president, just issued a statement congratulating her:
“Since the founding of our nation, New York has often sent our best leaders to Washington where they confronted the great challenges of their day. We are proud that Senator Clinton will join that venerable tradition as secretary of state. She is the leader we need to partner with President-elect Obama to confront the international challenges we face today. I can think of no one more qualified for the position at this critical moment in our history.
“New York will lose a powerful voice in the Senate. But the nation will gain a powerful voice in the world. Senator Clinton’s wisdom and record of leadership will make her a strong advocate for the cause of liberty, human rights, and the rule of law. Her courage and experience will give our nation a tested warrior in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I want to thank Senator Clinton for her service to this state. I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new capacity.
“In order to appoint the best possible candidate to replace Senator Clinton, I am consulting with a wide variety of individuals from all across New York State. I expect to announce Senator Clinton’s replacement when the position becomes officially vacant.”