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Cuomo Weighs In

May 7, 2010

The moment David Paterson bowed out of the gubernatorial race, Andrew Cuomo became the leader of the state Democratic Party.

But for a long time, Cuomo didn’t see it that way. He didn’t want anything to do with the chaos created by his fellow Democrats in Albany. In just about every policy debate, he stood back and said: “Oh no, not me. That’s not MY problem. I don’t have any role there.”

This position, while having obvious political advantages, certainly did not set the mark of a leader.

Fortunately, Cuomo’s better instincts have prevailed and he’s finally begun to weigh in with his fellow Democrats. Discreetly, he and his people have been delivering a sobering message in recent days:

“We’ve got to get a state budget done before the party convention. Think of how we’ll all look if the state is on the verge of bankruptcy and we’ve done nothing to stop it. What are we going to tell the people? “Please give us another chance. We promise not to screw up again.”  

Such intervention by Cuomo is long overdue. He’s the only person they all respect. He doesn’t have to make their problems his own, but he can certainly play a constructive role. He can urge the lawmakers to work out their differences. He can tell the lawmakers that he’ll back them up in making tough decisions. He can remind them all of the party’s need to stand for something more than dysfunction.

Thankfully, Cuomo has begun to do this. It can only help.

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