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May 25, 2013 10:35 AM Andrew Cuomo: Speak, Jest, Lie

Many a truth is spoken in jest. I'm kidding! I'm kidding!

By Jamie Malanowski

Surely the weirdest thing about Weiner’s announcement was Andrew Cuomo’s clumsy interjection of himself into the race. At a meeting of the editorial board of the Syracuse Post-Standard, Cuomo was chatting about term limits for legislative leaders, like Speaker of the Assembly. Cuomo doesn’t believe in them. He said, “It’s basically democracy. Those are grownups (in the Assembly) who are picking, who pick their leader.”

“So if Anthony Weiner wants to run for mayor, he can run for mayor,” probed Steven Rogers, the chairman of the media group.

Cuomo: “He runs? He runs.”

Rogers: “And if we elect him?”

Cuomo: “Shame on us.”

Whoa! Shame? That’s not a word you hear every day, especially ascribed to an action of the electorate. (Actually, having spent many years listening to the public pronouncements of Andrew’s father Mario, I can believe Andrew heard it every day. Catholic-inflected guilt was very much part of Mario’s schtick.) The shock of the honest, unfiltered comment was refreshing, in a slap-of-after shave short of way.

Unfortunately, having realized that a governor has no business offering an opinion, honest or otherwise, about a candidate in municipal primary, Cuomo quickly tried to weasel out of it, and in an entirely unconvincing, dishonest way. A spokesman was sent forward to explain that the governor’s comment was “made in jest.”

Andrew’s formative years in politics were spent as his father’s chief enforcer, and one never had the impression that he diverted any time sharpening his wit that could have been better spent sharpening his sword. The most hilarious part of this was not the jest; nor was it even the suggestion that the humorless Cuomo might have committed a jest. It was that the person who made that suggestion preferred to remain anonymous.


Jamie Malanowski is a writer and editor. He has been an editor at Time, Esquire and most recently Playboy, where he was Managing Editor.

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