Obama elevates Eric Schneiderman, who was too liberal for Andrew Cuomo
President Obama's State of the Union speech was centered on the issue of making the American economy more fair. To that end, he announced as part of his plan that New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will help lead a unit looking into the mortgage collapse.
It's a big victory for liberals and a sure sign that Obama is indeed keeping an eye on his base (the base that rallied around the Occupy Wall Street protests) as he heads into his re-election effort.
It will be interesting to see how much Schneiderman's new job, which brings with it the potential to greatly increase his national profile, affects the dialogue at the top level of state politics in New York.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has said, in stump speeches, that there is no divide between rich and poor. And, lest we forget, he unofficially but unmistakably opposed Schneiderman's bid for attorney general during the primary, coming around only late in the game to support him in the general. Cuomo's concern, as a ran for governor as an anti-partisan centrist, was that Schneiderman was too liberal.
State of the Union
Obama is "no more a man of audacious hope" but is "now a man of populist appeal." [Daily News]
"[H]is speech sounded like a page out of the Occupy Wall Street playbook." [New York Post]
The "Buffet Rule" gets a thumbs up from a progressive editorial page. [New York Times]
Obama "presented a somewhat modest list of initiatives he could enact through executive authority coupled with more ambitious proposals unlikely to advance in Congress." [Helene Cooper]
Rebutting the theme: "America is great not because it’s a team. America is great because it is a nation whose founding documents elevated the rights of the individual." [John Podhoretz]
The New York State Attorney General will be chair of Obama's new Unit on Mortgage Origination and Securitization Abuses. "This is a big achievement and something the entire progressive advocacy community wanted," said an unnamed White House official. [Sam Stein]
"A real step left" [Ben Smith]
It's "the biggest victory yet for the 99%," said MoveOn.org's executive director Justin Ruben. [Ben Smith]
"A seat at the table with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is for sale" and the cost is $50,000. The money will go to fellow Democratic governors. [Thomas Kaplan]
Bloomberg praised him in Albany yesterday. [Thomas Kaplan and John Eligon]
Romney's now "the poster boy" for an unfair tax system catering to the rich. [Daily News]
"How Schumer Cut Romney's taxes" [Greg David]
"What Mr. Romney’s returns illustrated, instead, was the array of perfectly ordinary ways in which the United States tax code confers advantages on the rich … " [Nicholas Confessore and David Kocieniewski]
"Romney's 13.9% tax rate is perfectly legal; that's the problem," said the Working Families Party, in an email. [Twitter]
Romney donated more to his church than he paid in taxes, note Stonewall Democrats. [Twitter]
LATFOR will propose creating a new State Senate district in Flushing that is 52 percent Asian and has no incumbent living there. Also, assemblymen Rory Lancman and David Weprin will see their districts cut in order to create an Asian Assembly district. [Ken Lovett]
An upstate Republican state senator, Hugh Farley, said the newly created 63rd senate seat near Albany "helps the capital region." [Joseph Spector]
'The Third Jihad'
"I recommended in February 2007 that Commissioner Kelly be interviewed," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne now acknowledges, contradicting earlier statements. Browne also said Kelly didn't know the documentary would be about radical Islam, something the film's creator denies. [Michael Powell]
"In reality, there is no option" in Cuomo's plan to offer 401(k) defined benefits. [Mario Cilento]
"We would never take a strike off the table," warned the T.W.U. leader. [Jennifer Fermino and Erik Kriss]
"If we have no protection whatsoever," the plans for a casino in Queens aren't viable, Genting told a conservative editorial board. [New York Post]
Genting gave $20,000 to Senate Republicans, and $10,000 to both Senate Democrats and to Schneiderman. They gave none to Cuomo. [Ken Lovett]
Bart Haggerty used Bloomberg's money to fund insurgent candidates against the Queens G.O.P. [David Seifman]
Liu introduced a better way to track public money, as federal officials continue their probe of how he raised campaign cash. [Tina Moore]
CNN had some trouble with an Obama headline last night. [Josh Greenman]
Google will start "tracking users universally across all its services -- Gmail, Search, Youtube and more…So much for the Google we signed up for." [Mat Honan]
Front pages from around New York, today. [via newseum.org]