It was brought to my attention earlier this week that Andrew Cuomo, son of Mario Cuomo, will be our next governor.
This wasn't the worst news I got this week, but it was close.
I was no fan of Cuomo the elder. Kind of like I was no fan of Bush the elder. And then came George W. Bush, who somehow made his father look like a compassionate genius. The cynic (read: journalist) in me fears
that Andrew Cuomo will make me pine for the days of Mario, just like George W. made me pine for the days of George Herbert Walker.
And yet, Andrew Cuomo's acceptance speech was rather uplifting. He said we need to balance the budget without raising taxes. He said we need to eliminate bureaucracy. He said we need to get rid of some of
the four million special districts (only a slight exaggeration) we have in New York State.
I couldn't disagree with any of these things. And I'm sure you couldn't either. Of course, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. And if Andy Cuomo were capable of accomplishing those things, the
three governors who sit between him and his father would have, too.
Fact of the matter is that New York is broken from the top down and the bottom up. And the pessimist (read: voter) in me isn't entirely sure that it can be fixed. Ever.
Cuomo pulled one stunt that I like, though. He chose Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy as his running mate. This will give his administration a Western New York perspective while preventing Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown from advancing his career.
A few things to point out:
First of all, I know Cuomo's selection by the Democratic Party doesn't really make him governor … yet. But, come on. The state GOP is rudderless. I have as good a chance of being governor as any of them. And I'm not running.
Second, I know that “technically” Rochester is not in Western New York. But whoever decided that Western New York was eight counties not including Monroe is an idiot. It's probably the same person that starting calling up “upstate.” I'm just saying.
Third, I'm sure I just offended some Byron Brown fans, including some friends of mine who work for the guy. If they can give me one example of something good he has done, I'll volunteer to campaign for him to run as a third party candidate.
Fact of the matter is, Cuomo is going to be governor and Duffy is going to be LG. If they owe you favors, call them in now.
I hope that the new governor is capable of controlling spending and reigning in bureaucracy and eliminating waste. But I'm not going to hold my breath any more than I did when Spitzer became governor. Or when Paterson took over from him.
Governor's a tough job. Only the best and brightest can be successful at it. Unfortunately, the best and brightest are too smart to want it. So we'll give it to the son of a guy who wasn't very good at it when
he held the job.
Come to think of it, this actually was the worst news I got this week.
Way to aim low, New York.