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The Cuomo Record

August 24, 2010

It’s no secret that the Cuomo media operation, led by Andrew himself, engages in some … shall we say … embellishment. 

There are no blatant untruths involved. It’s just that Andrew’s record is portrayed as extraordinary, when, in reality, it is something less than that. 

There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s politics. As Mario used to say: “If you don’t blow your own horn, there’s no music.” 

At issue is the New York Times’ review of Cuomo’s record at HUD, which, according to the newspaper, is mixed. 

One of the key paragraphs in the article is as follows: “…when presented with chances to throttle back on the exploding subprime market, guard against predatory lending and reel in mortgage brokers and lenders, Mr. Cuomo several times faltered and backed down, interviews and records show.” 

The Cuomo camp will no doubt think of this as some kind of hit job, but it struck us as a well-researched, fair article. It rather definitively debunks the notion that Cuomo is directly responsible for the nation’s housing bubble. At the same time, it undermines the notion that Cuomo is a superlative and visionary administrator. 

There should be no question about the legitimacy and timeliness of this reporting. This is what the media should do – carefully examine the record of the person who is likely to be our next governor. 

What continues to confound us, however, is Cuomo’s refusal to engage on substantive issues. In this regard, it makes no sense to us why he will be so ridiculously talkative about personal matters and refuse to engage on substantive topics like his record at HUD. 

The Times notes: “Mr. Cuomo … refused repeated requests to talk about his experience running the nation’s housing agency and how he wrestled with such policy questions. He gave no reason for his reticence.” 

Someone needs to explain to Andrew that as he moves to the next level there will be an almost constant need to explain his actions. This is especially true with regard to the tough budget decisions he will have to make. 

Again and again he will have to say: “This is what I’m up against. If I do this, this will happen. If I do that, that will happen. I’m choosing this approach because I think it’s the fairest and most effective thing to do.” 

Someone also needs to explain to Andrew that when you don’t defend your decisions, it looks like you can’t.

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