Going by most accounts (and polls) Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has already been anointed the next governor of New York, so it was no surprise he spent his first day campaigning to the sound of cheering crowds as he marched in the Salute to Israel parade yesterday. A day after announcing his candidacy he also released a 250-page book detailing his views on ethics and financial reform and other issues.
As the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, he has been itching to bring the family name back into the governor’s office for years. It’s been a long march.
The Queens native came off as brazen in 2002, when he sought the Democratic nomination in the governor’s race against Carl McCall, the party’s favorite.
“It was stepping way ahead of his time in the opinion of many,” said David Birdsell of Baruch College. “They thought he was arrogant, uncoachable.”
Cuomo withdrew but nearly split the party in the process. McCall lost the race and Cuomo has worked to mend fences ever since.
“The Andrew Cuomo story could be written as follows,” said political consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who ran McCall’s 2002 campaign. “Once-brash young man becomes confident public official and confident candidate for governor.
“The care with which he’s organized this campaign comes from that first campaign. Is this a guy who wants to make sure he doesn’t make any mistakes? Absolutely.”