11:47 am Jul. 11, 2012
Criticizing Andrew Cuomo isn't a great line of work to be in these days. Unless you happen to be Eliot Spitzer.
The former governor now has a regular Tuesday night perch on New York 1's "Wise Guys" segment from which to heave blunt rhetorical objects at the image-concious governor, who has maintained stratospheric approval ratings since taking over the governor's office at the start of 2011.
In his debut on NY1 last night, Spitzer said Cuomo was pretending not to be interested in the 2016 presidential campaign and that Cuomo's father, Mario, was "a good co-conspirator in this game."
(The remark was in reference to a front-page New York Times story about Mario discussing Cuomo's presidential prospects. One person I spoke with speculated that it may have in fact been leaked by people supportive of Cuomo, since it came shortly after a glowing Sunday New York Times magazine story about Hillary Clinton being a "rock star," adding to the speculation that she may enter the 2016 race, which would preclude Cuomo from running.)
Cuomo's office hasn't reacted yet to Spitzer's remarks, either overtly or via one of those "sources" familiar with the governor's thinking. And the rational play for Cuomo, assuming rationality has anything to do with it, will probably be to delay acknowledging Spitzer's existence on NY1 for as long as possible, so as not to elevate his importance further.
(When I reached Mario Cuomo, he told me he wasn't familiar with the remarks and referred my inquiry to his son's office.)
Doug Forand, a smart Democratic operative, told me in reaction to Spitzer's comment, "I don't think the governor is 'pretending' anything of the sort - he's merely saying that he's focused on governing, which he is, because he rightly recognizes that good governance is good politics. He's openly acknowledged the chatter, but is just not letting it define him. It's what any good consultant would advise him to do."