We wish we could talk to Andrew Cuomo and tell him the following:
“Just be cool. Nothing has happened that you can’t handle. Nothing has happened that you can’t turn to your advantage at some point. The Times non-endorsement? Come on, do you stay up at night when the Post editorial board goes off on you? Of course not. Well, neither should you get overly concerned about the vaunted Times. Think about it, the Times isn’t even staffing its Albany bureau anymore. Not consistently anyway. And the stuff they’ve been producing for months since Hakim left? Well, it’s a gossip column now, not political reporting. Eyeliner rumors – that’s what the Times is about.
Zephyr? The Times wanted to endorse her, but she was so bad in her interview they couldn’t. When they said she “lacks political experience” it was code for being insipid on matters outside her area of expertise. She’ll be gone in two weeks. And think about it, does anybody remember Jonathan Tasini? He got almost 20 percent of the vote against HRC. He was supposed to be a star with the far left, too. After he lost, he urged everyone to vote for Howie Hawkins. That’s what she’ll do. And it will have the same non-effect.
PB? The Times is trying to build him up. But in the end, PB will shock with the lameness of the cases he produces. Think about it. What’s left after Joe Bruno? He milked the system more than anybody. He made more than $2 million. But what he did wasn’t illegal because he always at least did some work for his clients. Libous as the next big case? He lost money on his land deals. How is that a scandal? Maziarz? A $1,700 check to a girl’s softball team is a scandal?
The public sector unions? Come on. They weren’t with you in the last election, so why care now? You could have had their endorsement, but you turned it down for principled reasons. Don’t regret that decision for a second.
These are all annoyances and nothing more. None of it should bother you. You don’t need any of them. But here’s the key point – don’t go off on them. That’d be the wrong response. Don’t start fighting with the Times. Don’t allow your people to do anything vengeful to Zephyr or her supporters. Don’t do anything to further antagonize PB. Instead, offer to work with him when he’s done with his review. Figure out a way to jointly advance meaningful reforms – like tightening the rules on personal use and outside income. And be fair to the public sector unions.
If you do all of that, everything will take care of itself. You’ll win big and you’ll go on to achieve a lot more. In the process, your legend will grow. You were a centrist, who had detractors on both ends of the political spectrum. You weren’t the typical pol who humored people. You weren’t in it for adulation at all. You had vision of what you wanted to accomplish for the people and you got results.”