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Andrew Cuomo, 11th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and 64th New York State Attorney General as a candidate for Governor of New York, outside of City Hall, little American flags on his tie.
Watch New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wriggle like the snake he is. From a Wednesday press conference:
[Cuomo] had harsh words about how his fellow Democrats ran the chamber in 2009 and 2010, when they held the majority. The conference leaders at the beginning of that period—Sens. Malcolm Smith of Queens and Jeff Klein of the Bronx—are now members of the IDC, poised to play major roles in the chamber.

Cuomo wriggled when asked if he was criticizing those men: "I don't think it's important to figure out who or why or how. But I think it's almost inarguable—it's as close to inarguable as any premise in this building—that that was not a good period of government."

So Cuomo's being all kind toward this new coalition of Republicans and their renegade Democratic enablers because (as he wrote in an op-ed on Wednesday) "the past two
years" of GOP control "evidenced higher levels of successful activity than the State Senate had previously produced in years." And in the same piece, he also said: "The Democratic Conference was in power for two years and squandered the opportunity, failing to pass any meaningful reform legislation despite repeated promises."

But it's obviously very inconvenient that two of the people responsible for the dysfunction in 2009 and 2010—Klein and Smith—are now at the heart of the new power-sharing structure. So Cuomo wants to blame an amorphous "Democratic Conference" for screwing things up two years ago as the reason he isn't supporting his own freakin' party (which holds a majority of seats in the chamber), but he also says it's not "important to figure out who or why or how" things got utterly derailed back then. That's a pretty naked admission that he doesn't want to point a finger at Klein and Smith, even though he knows he ought to. And if it's "not important to figure out why" things went wrong, then how can the mistakes of the past be avoided?

By the way, this is all a new tune for Cuomo. In the fall of 2010—even after the two painful years of Democratic quasi-control of the Senate—he was still saying:

I support a Democratic majority in the State Senate.
So what changed between then and now? Did Cuomo feel he had to say that because he was running for governor and needed to make sure the Democratic Party was consolidated behind him? Perhaps, but he won in such crushing fashion that I doubt this would have mattered. The only plausible explanation is that Cuomo, whose economic ideology is very right-leaning, grew to feel much more comfortable with Republicans in control of the Senate than Democrats. And this guy thinks he can win a presidential primary?

Originally posted to David Nir on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 02:54 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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