11:50 am Oct. 25, 2012
Governor Andrew Cuomo said this morning that the Obama campaign has yet to decide where to deploy him on behalf of the president's re-election, and that he'll be campaigning for congressional candidates in the meantime.
"I'm going to go where they need me," Cuomo said in one of his regular appearances on Fred Dicker's radio show. "They haven't given me a definitive schedule. They're talking about Ohio, they're talking about Virginia."
Cuomo said he'd be hitting the same notes from his speech to New York delegates at the Democratic National Convention, including the "devastating" budget plan offered by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and the "effects of extremism" in Congress.
"I'm basically on standby," Cuomo said.
(Ohio and Virginia, in particular, would allow Cuomo to stump for the president without violating his stated intention not to unduly stoke speculation about 2016, which would probably be the focus if he visited, say, Iowa or New Hampshire.)
While he's waiting, the governor divulged that he'll be appearing with some congressional candidates across the state, including an appearance with incumbent Democrats Kathy Hochul and Louise Slaughter. He also mentioned appearances with another incumbent, Tim Bishop, and with former Rep. Dan Maffei, who is trying to reclaim the seat he lost in 2010. (A few minutes after the Cuomo interview, Bishop's campaign sent out an email to supporters inviting them to an event with the governor on Friday morning, at a union hall in Hauppauge on Long Island.)
Cuomo has already backed one Republican at the state level, and hinted there might be more across-the-aisle endorsements to come, but didn't mention any Republicans in his talk about congressional campaigning. He did note that he had appeared at a fund-raiser on Tuesday with Nancy Pelosi, the former House speaker who was reportedly upset at Cuomo in the spring for not doing more to help congressional Democrats during re-districting.
Dicker also asked the governor about a Daily News column by his erstwhile tormentor Hank Sheinkopf, which argued that Cuomo combined his father's liberalism with Bill Clinton's political triangulation.
Cuomo launched into a comparison of his father and Clinton that, actually, contained multitudes:
"My father and Bill Clinton have a lot of similarities. They believe the same basic thing but they had different styles and different approaches. My father truly believes in activist government, as do I. Government can make a difference, should make a difference. We--we--should make a difference in society. Philosophically we should. And our vehicle to make the difference is government. That's how the collective is actualized. That's the essence of what my father believes.
"Bill Clinton believes that government has a practical effect also. The programs are important, the effect is important. Bill Clinton was also very good at making the point, because he wanted to see the government function and perform, he was very good at forging the relationship with the legislature to reach a compromise but to get something done."