Patterico's Pontifications

3/4/2021

Prescience from Fifteen Years Ago

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:42 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Ramesh Ponnuru points us to a profile of Andrew Cuomo published by New York magazine back in 2006, when he was running for Attorney General of New York in the hopes of spring-boarding into the governor’s office in due time. Here was what the writer, Jennifer Senior, told us:

Back in 2002, Andrew Cuomo didn’t just lose his bid for governor, he cratered. No one, least of all he, could have predicted the stunning indignity of the outcome, especially considering his pedigree: the Kennedy wife, the Cuomo name. His ambitious plan was to enter the primary; defeat his rival, Carl McCall; and go on to defeat George Pataki, the man who defeated Andrew’s father, Mario, in 1994. Instead, he began his campaign with an unforgettable barb about Pataki—that he’d merely held Rudolph Giuliani’s coat in the aftermath of September 11—which, while admirably candid in retrospect, was remarkably unattuned to the sensitivities of the day. On the hustings, Cuomo could never make the basic themes of his campaign clear; in his ads, voters decided he looked angry. The party, meanwhile, lined up foursquare behind McCall, a well qualified if uninspired candidate, who as state comptroller had put in all the requisite hours at the state-party wingdings and as an African-American had a chance to make New York history.

By the time the Democratic state convention came around, Cuomo had alienated so many party leaders it was unclear whether he could muster enough delegates to earn himself a place on the ballot. He refused to attend. By August, he’d fallen roughly 24 points in the polls. One week before primary day, he pulled out of the race. What was supposed to be an opera of exquisite revenge had become one long, vaudevillian skid on a banana peel.

Well hey, at least after a tough loss you can count on your loyal staff and your family to help you rebound, right?

That turned out to be the easy part of his year. Ten months later, the news broke that Kerry Kennedy, his wife, was having an affair, and his marriage dissolved with almost the same painful, public garishness—in no small part because Cuomo’s own people clearly leaked the story to the tabloids. Dynasties, apparently, are more fragile than they seem.

Fear not, Asshole Andy made his political comeback in winning his party’s nomination for the Attorney General position, mostly by virtue of raising seven times as much money as his nearest rival. Of his reputation among fellow New York Democrat operatives, Ms. Senior tells us this [bolded emphasis added by me]:

Whenever anyone makes an argument against Cuomo, it’s generally based not on his qualifications for the job, but his character. It is staggering how ugly his reputation is—especially considering how playful, silly even, he can be. [. . . ]

[. . .]

Yet merely mention Cuomo’s name—it almost doesn’t matter to whom—and one hears the same set of complaints: He’s abrasive. Stubborn. Terribly conceited. He condescends, and Lord even knows why, because it’s not like he’d be anyone without the Cuomo name. [. . .]

As we are seeing in his damage control over both the reporting of nursing home dead and his problems with inappropriate behavior around fetching young women, the Andrew Cuomo of 2006 was already a master at the art of accepting responsibility then in the next breath letting you now that it’s not exactly his fault:

And publicly, anyway, Cuomo seems at least to have adjusted to the idea of taking responsibility for his 2002 campaign. “Whatever mistakes were made were mine,” he tells me one day. Less than a minute later, however, he adds, “But a lot of it was situational.” His usual list of explanations follows: He hadn’t been in New York during eight of the ten years preceding the governor’s race but in Washington; he was running against a highly qualified African-American whose time had come; September 11 had engendered a certain caution in the electorate.

Ms. Senior writes of what she thinks is Andrew Cuomo’s playful and charming side too, but I’m in no mood to include it hear so you’ll have to read about it in the original article. In what is now clearly ominous foreshadowing, she describes Cuomo fils working a room, slapping the backs of young men and — yes — cupping the cheeks of young women in the palms of his hands. His hard-headedness, reluctance to compromise, and sensitive relationship with his father have brought him this far, but Ms. Senior’s piece suggests that at the same time these could be exactly the thinks that cut short his third term in office, like Sonny Corelone at the tollbooth.

– JVW

29 Responses to “Prescience from Fifteen Years Ago”

  1. But hey, the guy won the Attorney General election and then three consecutive gubernatorial elections, so clearly New Yorkers seem to want a guy like him in a state leadership position. Let them deal with the uglier side of all of it.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. Why doesn’t Bloomberg run for governor? He’d be refreshing compared to Cuomo. Oh, that’s right. Bloomberg said something inappropriate someplace at some point in the past.

    norcal (01e272)

  3. The good folks of Reason add a bit more color:

    In a statement last night, Cuomo added: “I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended.” He also asked people not to rush to judgments before the investigation is concluded—a courtesy he has seldom shown when it comes to sexual harassment claims against folks other than him.

    For instance, Cuomo immediately called for former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to resign when allegations surfaced against him.

    “My personal opinion is that, given the damning pattern of facts and corroboration laid out in the article, I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as Attorney General, and for the good of the office, he should resign,” said Cuomo before an official investigation was even underway.

    Cuomo also introduced and aggressively advocated for New York’s 2015 “Enough Is Enough Act,” bragging that it was “the most aggressive policy in the nation” to fight sexual assault and misconduct on college campuses. The bill spread nonsense statistics about sexual assault on college campuses and set “affirmative consent” as the standard for college sexual encounters, which many lawyers view as problematic and a threat to due process.

    Cuomo has also lobbied for increased criminal penalties for nonconsensual touching of all sorts and for consensual touching that involves money.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  4. I’ll wait to see this guy resign or be forced out. After Northam, I don’t believe they’ll push out one of their own.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  5. Republicans hate him progressive democrats loathe him and establishment democrats are no longer bullied by him. Even at democratic underground and jackpine radicals cat fighting is taking place between the dnc stooges and progressives.

    asset (3fa4c7)

  6. The democrats will bury Randy Andy with the sex abuse. Just so they hide the actual china flu scam from spreading to other governors, including the worst – rino charley parker.

    mg (8cbc69)

  7. The more i read about Cuomo the more I doubt that he has the capacity for shame that Franken, Hill, or Esty did. I think he might just take the hit a gut it out no matter how much pressure is put on him. But we’ll see how bad the details on this get.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  8. Remember – the media is focusing on his lewd behavior with women to keep you from realizing how many old people he killed.

    Hoi Polloi (2f1acd)

  9. @8, You’re right that every decision is part of vast conspiracy directed at your political defeat. But you’re wrong about the end goal. It’s actually to keep people from realizing that Potatoes are male. Stay focused on the real battle: Mr. Potato Head.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  10. Hoi Polloi, it looks like the NYT is part of the vast left wing conspiracy to use Cuomo to distract people from the Potatoe Head catastrophe

    But they’re still trying to run interference for him by burying his name in the headline.

    Top aides to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo were alarmed: A report written by state health officials had just landed, and it included a count of how many nursing home residents in New York had died in the pandemic.

    The number — more than 9,000 by that point in June — was not public, and the governor’s most senior aides wanted to keep it that way. They rewrote the report to take it out, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times.

    The extraordinary intervention, which came just as Mr. Cuomo was starting to write a book on his pandemic achievements, was the earliest act yet known in what critics have called a monthslong effort by the governor and his aides to obscure the full scope of nursing home deaths.

    Full Article isn’t paywalled.

    Joking aside, I can understand a leader making the wrong call with respect to nursing homes vs hospitals early on when we didn’t have the details. Trying to hide that mistake is completely unacceptable and he should resign. It’s not just the problem with lying to the public or trying to profit off of fake success. This information was pertinent to other areas that had to develop their policy.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  11. Glad the NYT published at least one article – months too late. Where was this hard-hitting coverage when it was happening, when conservative publications were sounding the alarm.

    Oh yes, lauding his work and handing him an Emmy.

    NYT, a day late and a dollar short, especially when it comes to reporting on their allies.

    But my point remains, much more is being said about his lewd behavior than his decision to turn nursing homes into death camps.

    Hoi Polloi (2f1acd)

  12. But my point remains, much more is being said about his lewd behavior than his decision to turn nursing homes into death camps.

    Hoi Polloi (2f1acd) — 3/5/2021 @ 7:12 am

    You’re losing sight of the real battle; Mr. Potato head.

    Time123 (ea2b98)

  13. Also, you didn’t read the article did you?

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  14. A few typos to correct in the last paragraph.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. Probably the most telling thing, and a window into his dishonesty, is AFTER covering up the deaths he went and lectured Republican governors on their pandemic failings.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. Probably the most telling thing, and a window into his dishonesty, is AFTER covering up the deaths he went and lectured Republican governors on their pandemic failings.

    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 3/5/2021 @ 7:47 am

    And we wrote and sold a book about how great he was. Being wrong is bad, but hiding useful information to cover up your mistake and writing a book about being great is almost Trumpian in it’s lack of shame.

    Time123 (69b2fc)

  17. And we wrote and sold a book about how great he was. Being wrong is bad, but hiding useful information to cover up your mistake and writing a book about being great is almost Trumpian in it’s lack of shame.

    Time123 (69b2fc) — 3/5/2021 @ 7:52 am

    Cuomo is more dangerous than Trump. The media protected Cuomo as he sent thousands to their death; heck, they gave him an Emmy. They protected him and lauded him at the same time. The media gave no such leash to Trump.

    And nor should they have.

    I just wish our media would treat Democrats like Republicans. You know. Be fair.

    Hoi Polloi (2f1acd)

  18. . . . but hiding useful information to cover up your mistake and writing a book about being great is almost Trumpian in it’s lack of shame.

    You can go ahead and strike the word “almost” from that clause and it will be 100% accurate.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  19. You make an odd assumption that they had knowledge of the truth and protected him anyway.

    Time123 (797615)

  20. . . . but hiding useful information to cover up your mistake and writing a book about being great is almost Trumpian in it’s lack of shame.

    You can go ahead and strike the word “almost” from that clause and it will be 100% accurate.

    JVW (ee64e4) — 3/5/2021 @ 10:06 am

    I’m not trying to say one is worse then the other. FWIW I still give trump the lead in lack of shame. When he screwed up he’d go out and tell ppl the screw up was the most prefect thing ever. That type of thing is tough to bead.

    Time123 (797615)

  21. I’m not trying to say one is worse then the other. FWIW I still give trump the lead in lack of shame.

    I’m not looking at the lifetime aggregate of each man’s behavior, I’m simply stating that Cuomo’s self-serving and dishonest handling of the pandemic in New York is exactly the sort of behavior we would expect from Donald Trump. The only difference is Trump (thankfully) didn’t have 80% of the media establishment cheering him on.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  22. I’m not looking at the lifetime aggregate of each man’s behavior, I’m simply stating that Cuomo’s self-serving and dishonest handling of the pandemic in New York is exactly the sort of behavior we would expect from Donald Trump.

    Oh for sure. I’m halfway waiting for Cuomo to send out an aid or tweet that what he did was perfect and that his political enemies are lying to make him look bad because they hate NY.

    He’s a failure and scumbag and he needs to go.

    Time123 (797615)

  23. when a politician is raked over the coals and for a brief interlude it’s not Trump, it can be really upsetting

    JF (3efb60)

  24. when a politician is raked over the coals and for a brief interlude it’s not Trump, it can be really upsetting

    JF (3efb60) — 3/5/2021 @ 10:30 am

    Maybe for you, I’m glad to see this guy get the scrutiny he deserves. I think it was Liz Mair who said the only reason he looked good was because he was being contrasted with Trump and DeBlasio.

    Time123 (441f53)

  25. Hair today; gone tomorrow:

    Cuomover.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. I reluctantly voted for Cuomo in 2014 because he was running against a dude whose political agenda was basically “cut taxes” plus “fight against the federal government’s unfair and oppressive social engineering” (the latter *explicitly* in reference to HUD’s attempts to enforce a settlement his predecessor as county executive had entered into requiring Westchester County to build more affordable housing and market that housing to minorities). Cutting taxes and fighting for the right of the wealthiest suburban county in the state to keep poorer people out of the county was … not an agenda I could support … and it didn’t help that he’d opposed New York’s gay marriage law.

    That said, Cuomo’s a terrible guy, with an autocratic temperament, who squelched investigation into government corruption, killed an independent redistricting commission, and is generally hostile to anyone who disagrees with him. He also orchestrated a system in which the minority Republican caucus joined with some breakaway Democrats to ensure Republican control of one of the houses of the state legislature (sort of the opposite of what Willie Brown engineered when Republicans first had a majority in one house of the CA legislature for the brief period in the 90s where they did).

    He’s better than de Blasio, and he did a great job with *presentation* during the spring (which, honestly, is an important part of the job of the executive during an emergency). But it’s time for him to go, and sometimes I wonder if my 2014 vote was a mistake. (As opposed to my vote for de Blasio in 2013, which was clearly a mistake).

    aphrael (4c4719)

  27. The sexual harassment scandal involving Cuomo also is reminding me intently of the campaign flyers he put together when working on his father’s campaign in 1977.

    “Vote for Cuomo, not the Homo”.

    If I’d been in NY in 2018 I would have voted for Nixon in the primary (there was *no way* I would have voted for Zephyr Teachout in 2014). I can’t with integrity speculate on how I would have voted in the general, as I didn’t know anything about Molinaro at the time, and it’s hard for me to say how much my opposition to Trump would have allowed me to vote for a Republican candidate for governor. My guess is I would have voted for Cuomo because i’d be worried that a Molinaro victory would be misread by the media and by Trumpists as a NY endorsement of Trumpism.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  28. One week before primary day, he pulled out of the race.

    On orders of New York Democratic Party political boss Bill Clinton, which he was at the time.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/nyregion/28clinton.html

    Eight years ago, Bill Clinton stood alongside Andrew M. Cuomo, bucking him up as Mr. Cuomo made a humbling exit from the primary for governor of New York with assurances from Mr. Clinton that his political career was far from over.

    On Wednesday, the former president and his onetime housing secretary, their grins real and broad, pumped fists, clasped hands and embraced — exulting in what, come Tuesday, could well mark the completion of Mr. Cuomo’s arduous comeback.

    He also broke his promise to the Liberal Party to run a serious campaign as an independent, and that was the end of the Liberal Party.

    Sammy Finkelman (1df645)

  29. But it’s time for him to go, and sometimes I wonder if my 2014 vote was a mistake. (As opposed to my vote for de Blasio in 2013, which was clearly a mistake).

    aphrael (4c4719) — 3/5/2021 @ 2:17 pm

    This kind of reflection is commendable. It’s a pleasure to have a dialogue with people who lean left but are reasonable.

    norcal (01e272)


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