Skip to content

Head to Head

September 16, 2010

Life story

Cuomo: Lawyer grandson of Italian immigrants who followed his famous father into politics.

Paladino:  Lawyer son of Italian immigrants who became a self-made millionaire.

Edge: Paladino. He has the more compelling personal story.

Projected Persona

Cuomo: Dynamic career politician who is working to reform government.

Paladino: Successful businessman and populist crusader who is working to reform government.

Edge: Paladino. There’s no question about Paladino’s commitment to reform. People wonder whether Cuomo is just employing the concept as a political strategy.

Real Persona

Cuomo: Cautious, calculating, Type A personality who views people as someone to be “worked” or as a potential enemy to be watched carefully.

Paladino: Blunt, bold, Type A personality who thinks of people as either friends or liberals.

Edge:  Cuomo. He’s more diplomatic, more able to function in the political world.

Communication skills

Cuomo: A natural communicator. Smooth, articulate and engaging, but sometimes gets too cute.

Paladino: Painfully awkward, but strikes many people as a genuine, tell-it-like-it-is guy.

Edge: Cuomo by a wide margin.


Cuomo: (He can’t explain it in this space.)

Paladino:  We’re mad. Let’s do something about it.

Edge: Paladino. He actually has a message, and it is immediately understandable to the average person.

What Those Who Know Him Best Say…

Cuomo: He can be insufferable – impatient, overbearing and impossible to satisfy. He can also be charming, funny and truly inspiring.

Paladino: Sometimes it does seem like he’s nuts. But he’s also smart, funny, and genuinely appreciative of the work people do for him.

Edge: Paladino. Cuomo has the respect of his people, but they really don’t like him. Paladino’s people love him, quirks and all.

Management Style

Cuomo: He wants to control everything. Sets multiple people to the same task. Second guesses everyone. Has people on edge in meetings. Dogs people on follow through.

Paladino: Wants a detailed plan. Insists on following the plan. Delegates well. Makes weird digressions, but conducts a great meeting.

Edge: Cuomo, by virtue of his experience in getting things done in state and federal government.

Negotiating Style

Cuomo: Not an ideologue. Wants a resolution, preferably one that results in a headline. Will threaten and pressure before compromising.

Paladino:  Has rigid, single-minded focus on the terms of the deal. Will walk away from deals if he does not like the terms.

Edge: Cuomo. He can be a bully, but he does know how to compromise.


Cuomo: Picked himself up after bitter divorce and political defeat. Tells people that nothing fazes him now. Secretly believes that it is his destiny to be governor and president. Key question: What will he do if the margin in this race narrows? Will he panic if his lifetime dream, the thing he’s worked for so hard and plotted so insidiously all these years, is threatened?

Paladino: Cites death of his son as a motivation for his political involvement. Revels in his own “political incorrectness.” Believes in his cause. Key question: Will the mistakes he makes in the next seven weeks be endearing or damning?

Edge: To be determined.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Claude Wren permalink
    September 17, 2010 2:51 PM

    What about people being intrigued by the real ultimate outside, Howie Hawkins of the Green Party? The most compelling personal story of the three. Clear commitment to reform. Been working at it for decades. Lots of mojo. Management style – you ever try to get a group of union members to agree on anything? Communication – Cuomo clearly does not like people. Paladino – dunno. Hawkins clearly likes being around people, talking with them not just to them, plus he listens and responds.


  1. Wake Up Call: Paladino V. Cuomo – It’s So On « Read NEWS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: