Andrew Cuomo won’t debate either his female, Democrat primary opponent, or his general election GOP challenger. Andy’s dodged repeated calls to face off against either Dem professor, Zephyr Teachout or Republican, Westchester County Executive, Rob Astorino.
Rather than risk arguing policy with a couple of articulate adversaries, the governor has chosen to hide behind his $35 million war chest and use it to: 1) Try to bounce Ms. Teachout from the primary ballot. 2) Unleash a spate of nasty, unfounded smear ads targeting Astorino that are so bad even Democrats are characterizing them as “unusually vicious”.
Having failed to remove Teachout (claiming she was a non-resident for the required number of years) from the September slate, Cuomo now needs to answer two questions. Should he debate her? Would it be wise to hit her with negative advertising?
One prominent Democrat operative claims, “Cuomo has no future out of Albany if he doesn’t show the fortitude to stand up and speak publicly against some random liberal professor about what he’s done.’’
But, if the gov does square off against Zephyr he risks raising her profile, screwing up, or having to answer questions about the US attorney’s investigation into his Moreland Commission Scandal.
The answer to a hard hitting negative campaign is simpler. Alpha male Andy has no interest in jeopardizing his standing among women voters by spending big bucks on ads hammering the feisty lady who’s already beaten him twice in court.
Unfortunately for Rob Astorino, Cuomo has no such qualms about launching millions of dollars in media buys designed to make the hip, funny, highly successful, recently re-elected in a landslide County Executive, look like a criminal.
Andrew Cuomo as the cowardly lion.
Taking a page from the worst in Democrat Texas politics, but sadly not from the best of their GOP fiscal/economic policies, Andy claims the affable family man is guilty of “racketeering and fraud”. However, as the NY Post’s Fredric Dicker reports, “What the ad doesn’t say is that the (original civil) lawsuit was brought by one of Astorino’s longtime political foes, the leader of the Westchester County Independence Party, the parent party of which has endorsed Cuomo.”
So, rather than publicly argue the many troubling issues facing his state, Governor Cuomo attempts in the most unseemly way, to shut down discussion by trying to criminalize a worthy opponent. The all powerful governor must find the 5’5”, ball of optimistic energy, county exec to be very frightening indeed.
So, while at this point, Andrew seems content to accept his image as an aloof, cowardly pol in return for being up in the polls, circumstances may be changing.
Here are some things to ponder. Cuomo couldn’t any more prove Teachout a non-resident than he’ll be able to prove Astorino a racketeer. The National Organization for Women, NYS Chapter, have endorsed Zephyr. She and Rob have agreed to a debate September 4 on WNYC-FM’s Brian Lehrer Show.
In addition, “Cable channel NY1 is giving Cuomo until Thursday to respond to its invitation to debate Teachout, saying it will provide airtime to Teachout and her lieutenant-governor running mate, Tim Wu, if the governor doesn’t show up.”
Last, but certainly not least, the NY Times has just refused to endorse Andrew Cuomo in the Democrat Primary because, “He failed to perform Job 1.” which was rid the state of corruption.
As a life long resident of the Empire State, it’s amazing how little Governor Cuomo actually understands the people he’s sworn to represent. While there are a lot of things they don’t like, two are high on the list. They don’t go for those in power maliciously lying about folks with whom they happen to disagree.
More importantly still, New Yorkers loathe those who do lots of “trash talking” before the bout, only to scamper away from the actual fight. The latter mentioned becomes an even greater outrage when ducking the battle cheats New York voters from seeing a clear, honest exchange of critical ideas between viable candidates.
What’s Andrew Cuomo so afraid of? If things in the state are as good as his taxpayer funded ads claim, he should win the debates in a walk. All Cuomo has to do, is “man up”, get in the ring, and go a few rhetorical rounds with rivals he apparently feels are no match for him.