Nixon is ev­ery­thing Gov. Cuomo is not

The Record (Troy, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Alan Char­tock is pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at the State Univer­sity of New York, pub­lisher of the Leg­isla­tive Gazette and pres­i­dent and CEO of the WAMC North­east Pub­lic Ra­dio Net­work. Read­ers can email him at Alan Char­tock

Cyn­thia Nixon is the real thing. She dropped by my pub­lic ra­dio of­fice one af­ter­noon and we had a lovely chat. I have to tell you, I re­ally liked the woman and “like­abil­ity” and guts (the abil­ity to tell it like it is) are re­ally what this whole gu­ber­na­to­rial race is likely to come down to. Any­one who gets to know her is go­ing to like her. She is hon­est, straight­for­ward and has enough straight out courage to give any­one hope in this tough time. I asked her whether she’d like to be on the ra­dio but she said she just wanted to get to know me. Frankly, I was as flat­tered as I don’t think I am de­serv­ing of her at­ten­tion.

In one cor­ner is Nixon the Nice – in the other, An­drew Cuomo, who lacks what Cyn­thia Nixon has. He is strate­gi­cally bril­liant. He plays by the stan­dard po­lit­i­cal rules. He does the right thing in lib­eral New York State. Trump treated Puerto Rico de­spi­ca­bly and Cuomo made one trip af­ter another to that beau­ti­ful is­land. When all the gun lovers were de­fend­ing the in­de­fen­si­ble acts of school vi­o­lence, Cuomo did the right thing and worked to pass the SAFE Act, prob­a­bly the high point of his ten­ure. He has led the way on gay rights. In many ways he is Lyn­don John­son to Jack or Bobby Kennedy. In other words, you can be strate­gi­cally bril­liant and still lose. If you fol­low Nixon’s polls, her progress is er­ratic.

Oh, An­drew cer­tainly has some black marks against his name. There was the in­ex­pli­ca­bly stupid and ve­nal clos­ing down of his own More­land Act Com­mis­sion that he es­tab­lished to help clean up cor­rup­tion in New York State gov­ern­ment. That was com­pounded as some of his top aides and most trea­sured staff were in­dicted and, in some cases, con­victed of se­ri­ous graft­ing, the very thing that the for­mer self-styled cru­sad­ing At­tor­ney Gen­eral said that he would root out in gov­ern­ment dur­ing his run for gover­nor. Then there was his equally stupid un­der­min­ing of Tom DiNapoli, un­doubt­edly the best pub­lic ser­vant in New York. When he took the pre-au­dit­ing pow­ers away from DiNapoli, it could be ar­gued that he ac­tu­ally em­pow­ered the grafters in his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

There was the whole mat­ter of keep­ing the Repub­li­cans in con­trol of the New York State Se­nate. From the Casey Sten­gel depart­ment of, “You could look it up,” I have been writ­ing for years that the day Cuomo called the so­called In­de­pen­dent Demo­cratic Con­fer­ence into the room and told them to cut out their trai­tor­ous ways as they voted to keep the Repub­li­cans in power, they would have to do so. As peo­ple fi­nally fig­ured out what the gover­nor who would be pres­i­dent was do­ing, Cuomo did ex­actly what I have been telling him to do. He re­ally couldn’t af­ford to have all the na­tional Democrats ask­ing him why he had been play­ing foot­sie with the Repub­li­cans. Then, of course, there was all that brag­gado­cio about how he was in charge of the MTA in New York as the whole op­er­a­tion faced col­lapse. Now that was dumb.

Most peo­ple who know the guy un­der­stand that he is one of the most lethal politi­cians of all. He is not easy to like. Last week his cam­paign took a shot at Nixon for mis­spelling Ithaca. She, on the other hand, is an un­po­lit­i­cal politi­cian. She tells the truth about all of An­drew’s foibles. She says that he is to late to the do-good table. Peo­ple are com­ing up to her and hug­ging her be­cause she ex­udes de­cency. You won’t see that with Cuomo. He tried to screw the teach­ers in New York and now he has made up with the Union big­wigs but the teach­ers I speak with will never for­give him.

Cyn­thia Nixon, her I like.

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