We’re the ones who need a transition.
We need a transition between the Andrew Cuomo who, throughout the campaign, refused to do anything that smacked of old-style politics, and the new Andrew Cuomo, whose transition committee is an exercise in appeasement and cronyism.
Cuomo had a year to figure out who he wanted on a transition committee and this is the best he could do?
To address the matter of diversity, he taps Carl McCall and Hazel Dukes. We hate to be disrespectful, but they aren’t yesterday; they are yester-decade.
To show bipartisanship, he taps Pat Barrett, the former chair of the Republican Party, through whom he almost recruited Joanie Mahoney to be Lt. Governor.
To reward people who helped raise money for him, he taps (like a maple tree in spring) Ken Langone.
To appeal to the Manhattan elite, he taps, no, scratch that, he appoints a prominent Manhattan socialite with an 11-syllable name. No doubt she is a perfectly delightful person, but there is no other reason for her to be there except that she is a prominent Manhattan socialite.
To show gravitas, he asks Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, to lend his name to the news release. (As if Chenault is really going to schlep to Albany for a meeting to review resumes for OGS commissioner.)
To smooth things over with Shelly and Dean, he appoints them to the committee, too. (As if they are really going to sign on the committee’s report and agree on behalf of their conferences to do whatever is recommended.)
We’re very sorry, but we think this was a completely ridiculous exercise that the mainstream media is dutifully reporting as serious news. See the Daily News today: “Cuomo Unveils Racially Diverse Transition Team.” Wasn’t that the exact headline on the campaign news release?
And on the topic of the media, we think our mainstream brethren are having a collective delusional moment. In this regard, three editors of newspapers have signed up for the transition committee. And how, exactly, does that work? Keith Olbermann gets suspended for making a campaign contribution to a Democratic candidate, and these three editors/columnists actually join the Cuomo team and its ok?
We’re just getting warmed up. Now we’re going to say something that is really terrible. To think that Bob Duffy has been given a significant responsibility as head of the transition effort is a joke. Mr. Duffy is actually not even a real person. He’s a six-foot-five bobblehead doll. Joe Percoco stands behind him and flicks the back of his head to nod yes, and slaps the side of his head to say no.
Let’s put money on these questions: Will this transition committee produce a single meaningful idea? Will it offer anything that hasn’t been orchestrated by Cuomo’s staff? Will it disagree with any aspect of what Cuomo has already proposed?
Whew. We certainly have been awful this morning. We haven’t been listening to our better angels at all. In fact, we broken every rule we hold dear about being cynical and snarky and you, dear reader, have every right to say: “OK, NT2 jerks, what would you do instead?”
Well, thank you for asking that question. Instead of naming a hundred people to a transition committee that will meet once and issue a report validating exactly what Cuomo originally proposed in policy books, we would do something quite different. We’d name a transition committee of three people. We Shanghai E.J. McMahon, Bob Megna and whomever Cuomo intends to appoint as Secretary to the Governor and we’d lock them in a room with the instruction that they not come out until there’s a real plan to ensure that the state spends no more than the revenue it takes in.
Yes, we’ve been terrible this morning, but argue with that approach. Go ahead and try.