1. What’s the matter with Andrew Cuomo?
By now I assume New Yorker editor David Remnick has assigned someone to do a profile of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is fast becoming the Howard Hughes of big-time politicians.
But just in case he hasn’t, here’s a reminder for him or any other smart editor why it’s time to take a long look at the governor: The New York Times report in late July detailing how Cuomo interfered with his supposedly independent corruption commission was great stuff. Even better were subsequent accounts in the Times and elsewhere about the governor’s clumsy attempts to explain things once he got caught.
But the scandal over Cuomo’s scandal commission — which has spawned an investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office in New York — seems to be the tip of a proverbial iceberg of not just classic political hypocrisy but downright weirdness and paranoia not seen among big-shot politicians since President Richard M. Nixon roamed the halls of the White House.
As this other Times story by Thomas Kaplan points out in hilarious detail, Cuomo, who is running for reelection, doesn’t like to talk to people when he makes campaign appearances. In fact, he doesn’t make many campaign appearances at all.
Even the most mundane ceremonial events in the most out of the way places are tightly controlled and scripted so that the governor — protected by rope lines that keep back the few onlookers who show up — doesn’t have to say anything spontaneous to anyone.