In coronavirus response, Gov. Andrew Cuomo shows a different side: A softer one
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reads a letter he received from a retired Kansas farmer, who sent him a single N95 mask; April 24, 2020. New York State Team
ALBANY - Even Chris Cuomo had to ask his brother: What's up with this softer side of the governor on display for the nation to see?
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧"I've seen you referred to a little bit recently as the 'love gov' and I'm wondering if that's bleeding into your demeanor at all and making you a little soft on the president," the CNN anchor said to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on April 8.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧The governor responded with a wide smile.
"I've always been a soft guy. I am the love gov. I'm a cool dude in a loose mood, you know that. I just say, 'Let it go, just go with the flow, baby.' You know. You can't control anything, so don't even try."
To which Chris responded with an eye-roll: "You have never said any of those things."
As the Democratic governor wades New York and the nation through the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 20,000 people in his state, Cuomo has shown something not seen as regularly as it is now: a softer side.
During his first term, Cuomo refused to go on most national TV shows and didn't leave the state.
Now, he's offering a nervous nation a daily dose of what he calls "just the facts," then mixes in a motivational refrain about being "New York tough" with stern warnings about social distancing and wearing masks.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧And it comes often with a few Dad jokes that he notes can makes his three daughters — who are all in their 20s and living with him at the mansion in Albany — cringe.
"My daughters are getting tired of my jokes, believe it or not," he said April 22. "How that can happen, I have no idea."
Cuomo takes a new turn as governor in a crisis situation
Cuomo's governing style over his 40 years in state and federal governments幸运飞艇4码选号技巧 has been steeped in being a bare-knuckled fighter for his agenda; a car mechanic at heart who has mastered control of the levers of power.
He was first known derisively as the "Prince of Darkness" in his 20s for being his father's trusty enforcer during the early part of Mario Cuomo's three terms as governor from 1983 through 1994.
And Cuomo is facing growing criticism for New York's death toll, particularly questions about whether he waited too long to shut down the state and should have better handled the outbreak at nursing homes that has killed more than 4,800 patients.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧Senate Republicans are calling for an investigation into the nursing home situation.
"Instead of scapegoating or threatening blanket receivership, the state needs to step up to the plate and do all that it can to support these facilities to ensure that residents are receiving the highest quality of care," said Sen. Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, Dutchess County.
Cuomo has also had extraordinary powers during the pandemic.
He haswith sweeping control to close businesses, change elections and revamp health-care regulations. The state Legislature gave him the power to alter state spending quarterly due to the state's weak fiscal condition.
His vise grip on when businesses will open — a seven-step process steeped in data and rolled out in four phases — has drawn jeers across parts of upstate where the virus hasn't been as prevalent as in New York City and its suburbs. The current stay-at-home order runs through May 15.
Cuomo has also had an on-and-off-again relationship with President Donald Trump — at some points praising one another, and at other points battling as two New Yorkers.
A fight with Trump could hurt New York's chances at help from the federal government, Cuomo has suggested.
"I don't want unnecessary fights, right? This is a very important time," Cuomo told his brother April 15.
"You have this politically charged atmosphere. Everybody is in their respective corner. Anything can trigger a political brawl. ... So, I am bending over backwards to stay out of politics."
Cuomo has never had higher approval ratings since taking office in 2011, nor has he received such a spotlight. A Siena College poll in late March found 87% of New Yorkers supported his handling of the pandemic.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧"He is setting the tenor of the time. People are looking for a voice of unity and not a voice of dissension, and he is providing that," veteran Democratic political strategist Hank Sheinkopf said.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧"Part of his talents as a politician is understanding what the public mood is at the moment."
Cuomo gets high marks, but challenges ahead
Cuomo had long resisted being a fixture on cable news or TV shows.
But over the past month, he has been a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show ("When you run for president, I will be behind you all the way," she said); on Howard Stern's radio show ("I love you. I loved you when you first became governor," Stern said); and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon ("The word 'Cuomo' makes people happy," Fallon said.)
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧He has beaten back speculation that he's a candidate-in-waiting for president or might join Joe Biden in Washington next year if Biden is elected president in November.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧And he has to answer the unlikeliest of questions: about fans becoming "Cuomo-sexuals," a crop of supporters who like both his demeanor and his looks.
"You are well liked among the ladies," Fallon told him Wednesday night. "People knowing that you're single and some people are calling themselves ‘Cuomo-sexuals.’ They want to date you; they want to marry you. Is that changing how you act at all?”
Cuomo laughed and joked:
"I enjoy using it selectively with certain friends and family, actually. And those people who are saying good things, it’s only because they don’t know me, Jimmy."
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧At age 62, Cuomo talks regularly about being content as governor of his home state, one his father led for 12 years. He has said he'll seek a fourth term in 2022, which evaded Mario Cuomo when he lost a bid for a fourth term.
"This is a humbling experience, you know. It is 15,000 people dying.15,000 people dying and you can't do anything about it," Cuomo told WAMC radio host Alan Chartock, an Albany-based station, on April 22 as the death toll climbed.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧Some on social media have grumbled about Cuomo's storytelling, saying he should just stick to the news of the day. Others have praised his approach, saying he has given them comfort amid the lockdown.
The lighter side of Cuomo, whether it is his daily reflections on spending time with his daughters or his banter with his brother on primetime CNN, is the way Cuomo behaves behind closed doors, longtime aides said.
"To me, I’m seeing the same Andrew Cuomo. You may just see it more often," said Larry Schwartz, who served as Cuomo top aide and has now returned to help with the COVID-19 response.
"But there has always been a passionate side to him, a soft side to him. He may be expressing it more because people get to see him on TV for an extended period of time."
Cuomo mixes a gloomy death toll with a call for resolve
The coronavirus has been personal, too.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧Chris had coronavirus, which the younger Cuomo detailed nightly on his show. So too did Chris' wife and his son, Mario.
It has displayed to the elder Cuomo, who prides himself on his management skills, an inability to control everything around him, he has suggested.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧He has made a point of rushing to the scenes of emergencies, be it a flood in central New York or a snow storm in Buffalo, or riding through the streets of Manhattan during Superstorm Sandy.
With the coronavirus and its prolonged impact, though, "You can't protect your children. Your brother gets sick; there's nothing you can even do about it. Friends are in the hospital. You can't even go see them," the governor continued to tell Chartock.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧"I mean, it is, you think you had any control of your own life, of others, and man plans and God laughs."
But the wide praise for Cuomo will undoubtedly come with peril.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧New York's handling of the pandemic will continue to face scrutiny as the epicenter of the virus. While the numbers of deaths and cases have slowed, another wave could be looming, and how New York reopens its businesses is rife with potential missteps.
Meanwhile, New York's economy is in tatters, with a loss of revenue that could reach $15 billion, which could be mean unpopular cuts to schools, social services and the same health-care system that has fought to keep virus-sickened residents alive.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧As state GOP chairman Nick Langworthy said, it's too early to start analyzing Cuomo's performance.
"Until the final chapter is written, you don’t really know what it is," Langworthy said.
But he added: "We lost a lot of life, and there are going to have to be questions answered about that."
Joseph Spector is the New York state editor for the USA TODAY Network. He can be reached at or followed on Twitter: @GannettAlbany
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