The big cheese stands alone
Our ex-governor who never played nice just sent me flowers. He’s now being more nicer.
Now that Andrew Cuomo filed a lawsuit about his sexual harassment allegations, I asked what friends stood by him.
“Nobody. It was tough. Traumatizing. Biden, a friend 20 years, not knowing details, immediately said about me, ‘He’s got to go.’ Biden had troubles years before and I stood by him. Gave him the benefit of the doubt. It was heartbreaking to see him trash me without reading one page, making one phone call.
“Pelosi? Please. I know her 30 years. Her daughter worked for me. Obama? He’s been tough. When troubles come you like to think you’re different. You’re not. Enemies and haters accumulate. Schumer, Gillibrand, pals working in the state, friends I respected, fell like dominos. Lose your power and heartless politicians read the tea leaves. You’re dead. Over. Pols grab another piece of meat. The phrase ‘political friends’ is an oxymoron.”
Didn’t his own tough personality help do him in?
“OK, I’m not warm and fuzzy. What politician is? Maybe my duality started when my father was no longer governor. I saw him hurt. His vulnerabilities exposed. They broke his heart. The press next crucified me, his campaign manager kid. So I learned then not to expose a weakness or show your inner self. You know why? It gets used against you. A reaction becomes ‘Now we know where to hurt you.’ ”
Could it be that maybe this was just his own ego?
“I’m Italian. Tough. Strong. I’ve reacted to this newfound treatment. Also not to make that mistake again. So, my old fights with the press were because I pushed to get things done. What happened was resentment. So was my job just to sit back? I helped redo JFK and LaGuardia, Biden’s ‘Third World airport.’ I pushed the Second Avenue subway, which had been stalled 50 years. I helped bring in the Marriage Equality Act.
“I focused on getting a job done — not socializing or going to parties. Aren’t leaders, legislators, regulators supposed to bring optimism, confidence? People are scared in mean angry times. The ones we elect must stand for something.
“No excuses or hearing that we just can’t get things done. We’re elected to fight for people. And I was not willing to fail or give up.”
A sip of red wine, then: “Sorry I hadn’t more time for family. Working seven days a week cost me. I missed a lot of life. My wish now was that I should’ve been there more for them.”
And his future plans?
“I’m a lawyer who can rep clients in corporations, finance, government relations, real estate people. I can earn money. And I’ll express my opinion in the next few weeks. But right now nice well-meaning, hardworking Hochul’s your best alternative.
“Look, my interest is public service. There are no term limits so I can make another go in four years. I’m someone who delivers. And who knows, could be there’s nobody to beat me. Also who knows — maybe by then I’ll be sweeter.”
Meanwhile, might there be another new woman in his life?
“No.” A quick beat, then, “But I’m available.”
A local chapter of Girl Scouts of America just organized a new slogan for Year 2023. It’s “Buy Girl Scout Cookies. Support Leonardo DiCaprio’s next girlfriend.”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.