Miner recollects many Mario Cuomo aides referring to Andrew privately as “the prince of darkness,” a spectral presence within the administration even after he moved to Washington. Now the rebranded, post-2002 Cuomo was attempting one thing totally different: humility, or no less than the looks of it. One favourite little bit of shtick in these wilderness years, based on a 2015 biography by Michael Shnayerson, had Cuomo opening telephone calls with: “Hello there, that is Andrew Cuomo. C-U-O-M-O.”
When Cuomo introduced a run for legal professional common in 2006, allies gave interviews gushing about his bridled ego and heightened listening abilities. Cuomo curbed his personal freewheeling press technique — no extra cigar interviews within the park — and managed his each day political environment to the purpose of obsession. Generally, based on an aide who labored on the marketing campaign, he refused to enter an occasion venue till he had been briefed on such particulars because the room temperature and the size of the stroll to the microphone. (The spokesman denied this.)
The transformation had its limits. Some who labored on that marketing campaign detected a necessary shallowness that might lurch privately into conspicuous indecency. One other aide mentioned that Cuomo as soon as accused him of failing to move off aggressive reporting from a feminine journalist for private causes, asking, “You banging her?” He may additionally bridle on the indignity of voter courtship, rising particularly irritated about an occasion celebrating Sukkot, the Jewish harvest vacation when the trustworthy collect outside beneath short-term shelters of branches and greenery. “These folks and their fucking tree homes,” Cuomo vented to his workforce, based on an individual who witnessed it and one other who was briefed on his feedback on the time. (The spokesman denied each incidents, including: “His two sisters married Jewish males, and he has the very best respect for Jewish traditions.”)
Cuomo’s election as legal professional common — over the Republican nominee, Jeanine Pirro, the longer term Trump-defending Fox Information persona — finally conferred upon him an influence commensurate to his political appetites. One former affiliate recalled Cuomo’s describing a bonus of the job after taking workplace: When guests sat for investigative interviews, Cuomo enthused, he may make them nervous with physicality alone, leaning ahead in his chair as they studied his each twitch. “I loom over that desk,” Cuomo mentioned, based on the affiliate. “Of their minds, I’m Sonny Corleone” — the violently impulsive eldest son in “The Godfather” — “and I’m able to something.” (The spokesman wrote that Cuomo “by no means makes use of ‘Godfather’ references,” including, “That is an anti-Italian, bigoted, false, defamatory assertion.”)
Cuomo’s prime antagonist in Albany occurred to be one other rampaging alpha. And Eliot Spitzer, the brand new governor often known as the “sheriff of Wall Avenue” when he had Cuomo’s job, was not going to be browbeaten by anybody. In any capital, the 2 workplaces can come into pure battle; no governor desires an legal professional common nosing across the government chamber, and few attorneys common have failed to contemplate how properly a promotion may swimsuit them.
However these two made a very flamable pair. Spitzer, a self-described “steamroller,” pledged an moral reckoning in a capital lengthy tarnished by official misconduct. Cuomo was disinclined to cede that turf, making public corruption a signature focus of his new submit. The governor’s workplace earned his consideration early. Lower than a 12 months into Spitzer’s time period, Cuomo issued a harmful report accusing Spitzer aides of utilizing the state police to accumulate details about a rival, Joseph L. Bruno, the State Senate majority chief. A scrambling of reputations appeared afoot. “If anybody thought six months in the past which one could be incompetent, they thought Cuomo could be the jerk and Spitzer could be the cool man,” Henry J. Stern, a longtime New York Metropolis parks commissioner and good-government advocate, mentioned on the time. “However that seems to not be the case.”
Because it occurred, Spitzer’s final downfall in 2008, in a prostitution scandal, required no help from the legal professional common. And because the all of the sudden elevated lieutenant governor, David Paterson, flailed via the remainder of the time period, Cuomo emerged as a de facto governor in ready. Paterson, whose early fund-raising had been dwarfed by Cuomo’s, was discouraged from pursuing a full time period by Barack Obama; the White Home feared that Paterson’s unpopularity might be a drag on down-ballot New York Democrats.