In Washington for Barack Obama's inauguration, New York Governor David Paterson ended up talking about Hillary Clinton and the U.S. Senate seat she recently gave up.
Asked by CBS News' Bob Schieffer if he had chosen a successor for Clinton, the secretary of state designate, Paterson said he had a timeframe for making an announcement but would not say who the appointee is going to be.
"In the next couple of days," the governor said. "And I am not totally sure who I'm going to appoint yet."
Paterson said that Caroline Kennedy, who appeared early in the selection process to be the odds on favorite, was still in contention for the seat despite getting off to a rocky start with the New York media.
"I was very impressed by her in our conversation and found her to be very hard working very forthright, and she had some faux pas with the media when she first started, as have a number of people who have gone on to be outstanding in their service," Paterson said. "So I'm weighing her ability and acumen and what she might be able to do for New York more than that."
CBS News' Katie Couric asked the governor about other prominent New York Democrats who have been mentioned as candidates for the open Senate seat – such as Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney – but Paterson would only say that he was considering all the options.
"What I would say is we had 10 or 11 candidates," Paterson said. "And to be fair to the other candidates, we have some extraordinary people in New York – elected and unelected – who came forward and qualify."
When asked if he would make his announcement on the CBS Evening News, Paterson did make one promise to Couric.
He said, "Katie, if I make a decision at 3:00 in the morning, since I can't call Hillary Clinton anymore, I'll call you."