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Praise (Sort of) for FUD, and a Warning

February 24, 2015

We’ve got a bad feeling. A really bad feeling.

It’s Cuomo. Ever since the day after his speech, he’s been acting weird. Remember? He gave his State of the State speech and did the dorky thing he always does – he made a totally lame attempt at humor. This time is was the Three Amigos — Cuomo, Silver and Skelos in sombreros. Hah, hah. But what happened? The very next day, PB exposed Silver for using his office to get rich.  As we’ve written, we still have our doubts about whether Silver’s actions constitute a federal crime or not, but we’re not disputing the fact that he’s now the all-time poster boy for personal gain in public office.

The Three Amigos is the picture worth a thousand words. It’s the punch line for PB.  It tied Cuomo to Silver and Skelos in a way that PB never could.

Cuomo knows it. He knows that everybody else knows it and now he’s desperate to change the perception.

That’s why he quickly started talking tough to the legislature. That’s why he crammed all sorts of things into the 30-day amendments. In effect, Cuomo ripped off his sombrero and put on a white cowboy hat.

It surprises us that the media really hasn’t noted the incredible about-face by Cuomo.  At the start of the year, he was advertising a conciliatory approach and now all of a sudden he wants to kick legislative culo.

Now some will say that an about face by Cuomo is nothing new. They say he’s always been transactional and lightening quick to do whatever serves his purpose.

But the latest maneuvering has a different quality. It’s not hard pragmatism, which you can more or less respect if it’s driven by a desire to reach a policy goal that’s good for the realm.

What he’s doing has a totally different feel. He’s rushing to reposition himself and he doesn’t care who he upsets or alienates. It’s all about getting on the right side of PB and it has a frantic, scared quality to it.

Alone among reporters, Fred Dicker recognized the dynamic earlier on. Dicker accurately pegged it a couple of weeks ago — Cuomo is totally off his game as a result of PB’s investigations. It’s affecting his policy and personality.

We can’t figure out whether this is the result of PB simply upstaging Cuomo or whether it’s more serious – as in he has something on him. The former would annoy but not unnerve Cuomo; the later could drive Cuomo over the edge.

In this regard, it’s simply not possible for Larry Schwartz to have done something wrong without the Governor doing something wrong, too. This isn’t Jersey where a deputy operations director can be blamed for ordering actions by a bi-state agency. It was her idea and nobody above her had a clue? Yeah, right.

Schwartz’ actions – whatever they were – simply aren’t going to be viewed as his own.  There was a directive from Cuomo to do whatever he did. That’s a given.

Hopefully, hopefully, hopefully, this will just be another example of bad form by the administration and not something that constitutes actual wrongdoing.

That’s what we’ve always thought it would be. But the way Cuomo and his people are acting now is really scaring us.

They are acting like they don’t need friends – which is a recipe for a downfall.

They are fighting with everyone. And some of these fights make no sense at all. They lashed out at Dicker yesterday for reporting what everyone knows – that Schwartz hasn’t left the administration. Why react that way? Is it going to influence Dicker? Is it going to scare him?  Fred is exultant right now. This moment goes into the FUD Pantheon – Norman Adler, Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson and now Andrew Cuomo.  He’s bested them all.

That Cuomo, who knows Dicker better than anyone, allowed himself to do this is a bad sign.  That Fred is back after an extended period of irrelevancy is scary too. What happens in situations like this is that everyone who’s fed up with Cuomo now starts to feed Dicker info. Few people were talking to Fred a while back, but now everyone will again.

It’s a bad dynamic. Nobody is afraid of Cuomo and his people anymore. There’s no fear, no respect, and thanks to the administration’s long record of churlishness — no friendship.

We hate to say it, but this has the mark of an administration that’s teetering.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark Buxbaum permalink
    February 24, 2015 10:33 PM

    I have the agree with the theory that the Cuomo administration is started to steer towards the rocks; largely because of self-inflicted wounds due to the Gov’s small minded meanness. What gets me most upset is his propensity to bully the ‘little guy’ who he perceives as somehow getting in his way. Witness all the incidents from threatening PEF employees with layoffs, firing a DOT engineer for daring to tell the truth without prior approval to the latest fiasco of blaming poor western NY thruway drivers for getting caught in the snowstorm! I kinda get the bird of prey attitude towards his political rivals for power, but this dude loves to smash the small and wounded. But watch out all citizens of this great state; nothing will be more dangerous than a wounded animal; especially the political species.

  2. Michael G Marriam permalink
    February 25, 2015 8:25 AM

    I read your about. You claim to be a group of professionals from New York concerned about recent events in the state. After reading this article it’s seems you are mostly concerned that Cuomo seems to be in trouble. Is it accurate to assume that if PB had let the whole Moreland Commission thing slide you would have been happy? If so I question your concern for New York. Look at all the undesirable worst in class ratings this state has. How can you say that businesses as usual with the “Three Amigos” still at the helm would be a good thing. A pox upon them all and you too if that’s how you feel.

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