January 1, 2015

"I somehow got this reputation of diddling and dithering... I don’t remember dithering at all."

Said Mario Cuomo, who said his epitaph should read "He tried."

He died today, at the age of 82.

43 comments:

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

The best description of Mario Cuomo ... EVER ... came from The Economist, who explained him to their then mostly-British audience as "Adlai Stevenson with garlic."

Elrond Hubbard said...

He lacked gravitas.

Carol said...

Uh, no, he had wonderful gravitas. I was a fangirl back then. I suspect there was some ugly shit in his past that kept him from running for president.

Ron said...

A far better speech giver than the current POTUS.

Titus said...

This quote is so much better than any other New Conferdacy, Southern Old Boy Pube, who is now the voice of the republican party

Michael K said...

I think he chickened out on his presidential bid because George Bush's ratings were so high after Gulf War I. He didn't realize that Ross Perot would throw the election to the Democrats and an obscure governor from Arkansas would benefit. I think that's where his dithering rep came from.

His son is a typical privileged Democrat with credentials but no education.

sydney said...

I lived in New York state under his reign. He converted me into a conservative.

sydney said...

He came to be known as a ditherer because he kept an airplane waiting on the tarmac while he tried to decide whether or not to go to New Hampshire to register as a candidate in the presidential race. Kept it waiting right up until the last minute.

traditionalguy said...

Why is he famous? He gave two speeches with Italian passion and no content. That was it. Is he a Father figure?

Skeptical Voter said...

Yeah--but he diddled.

Mark said...

Why is he famous?

He was Obama before Obama was Obama. That's why. An ultimate lightweight who the liberal elite swooned over as being oh-so-smart and profound. But Mario "personally opposed, but . . ." Cuomo was nothing but a guy who gave a couple of speeches.

chickelit said...

What were his big accomplishments? I remember his name but I can't remember what he did to deserve acclaim.

wildswan said...

He gave a beautiful speech on how America was about always widening out, always reaching out, always including in more people.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/01/01/the-best-speech-mario-cuomo-ever-gave/

But listening to it now which I just did is a very strange experience. Then I was a Democrat. I'm still opposed to everything I was then but now I think the Democrats are dividers, Democrats ignore the problems of Obamacare, Democrats ignore the despair in the cities they run. Oh well.

chickelit said...

wildswan wrote Then I was a Democrat. I'm still opposed to everything I was then but now I think the Democrats are dividers, Democrats ignore the problems of Obamacare, Democrats ignore the despair in the cities they run. Oh well.

Amen to that. I'll add that they don't give two shits about losing people like me either. They just foist resentment and guilt on my ilk. Fuck them. Seriously.

mccullough said...

Cuomo was pretty much just like Dukakis. Clinton finished off that part of the Dem party. Even Obama couldn't run as a liberal.

richard mcenroe said...

The most famous quote about Mario Cuomo came from an old geezer in NYC.

Mario had gone to an old folks home to explain how raciss' it was to complain about senior citizens getting mugged.

"My wife has been mugged," Mario explained to show off his own superior forbearance. "My daughter has been mugged. I've been mugged..."

"Mug him again!" shouted an old far in the room....

gk1 said...

I think I remember Cuomo giving some over wrought keynote speech for Mondale in 84' and he was accusing Reagan of needlessly scaring the Soviet's and stockpiling poison gas to harm babies or some crap. I was in college then and even I was "Who buys this crap???"

richard mcenroe said...

Cuomo was also part of the campaign for the Montgomery Amendment, in which the Democrats tried to strip Reagan of his authority to deploy noncombat reserve units to Central America.

When that failed, he spent the rest of his term refusing to let the Feds upgrade the weapons and equipment of the NY Army National Guard (my issued firearm there was a Vietnam-era High Standard M16A1, and our tanks were M48 Pattons older than the tanks we were exporting to unpopular allies. Everybody was excited we had just received our first TOW missile jeeps to replace our Korean-War vintage recoilless rifles.)

When a powerful upstate supporter wanted a prize Cuomo tried to deactivate a NYC Guard unit that had been in existence since before the Civil War in order to form a new unit upstate, a move that would have taken millions of dollars in pay and local spending out of NYC communities. I was particularly proud of the role I played in stopping that.

Gravitas Cuomo lacked; pompous, slef-righteous liberal Dem hypocrisy he had by the Staten Island Ferryload.

Ctmom4 said...

@richard mcenroe And oh, what a piece of work he spawned in Andrew. Remember " vote for Cuomo, not the homo"? Ed Koch never forgot.

William said...

Some people have harsher memories than mine. He struck me as a decent guy. He was pretty liberal, but he never got up yor nose with it the way Bella Abzug and, now, DeBlasio do.

cubanbob said...

The guy isn't even cold yet. Wait a day or two to dump on him.

Kansas City said...

It is interesting to ask what Mr. Cuomo accomplished. Democrats love him for that 1984 speech, which was well delivered but viciously anti-President Reagan, who even among mostly liberal historians if now recognized as a great or near great president. One premise was to stop all that military stuff, that over the next five years won the Cold War. Nice on words, wrong on content. Liberals never change.

Having said all that. I don't know much about Mr. Cuomo. RIP.

furious_a said...

RIP. Elder Cuomo made the 80s and 90s interesting. I'll take him over the Clinton bag men, race hustlers and pubsector union lifers who run the Dem party now.

Anonymous said...

Referring to Cuomo's smarmy sanctimony, Limbaugh always referred to him as "Mario the Pious".

Heh.

CatherineM said...

I May be attacked for this, but I am saddened by his demise. He is from my parent's generation. So I do feel it a bit that way.

I also feel he was the last generation who could say, "I am against abortion, but I understand why it's necessary." He wouldn't get beyond regional (county) office in NY todY never mind national. I also admire his pro-life stance was consistent with capital punishment. I think this is why he did not seek higher office. It would mean denying his conscience.

Look at Gillibrand. She was a blue dog n "pro 2nd amendment Dem" and then she visiited Jamaica, Queens and changed her mind. When and only when she was considered to replace carpet bagging Hillary. Really? Gillibrand is one of the reasons why I hate politics. Finger in the wind bullshit.

Cuomo for all of his faullts had a conscience.

I am ver sorry for his family and their grief.

CatherineM said...

Mark -why is he famous? He won re-election 3x in a highly populous and influential state. That's enough to make anyone in the (anti-...Catholic/Italian/ethnic) media to take notice. That's why.

CatherineM said...

Richard McEnroe- that's the reason he lost yo Pataki. I think you run so long you forget who you represent. Cuomo looked like a Nyc only democrat who forgot about upstate that was dying.

CatherineM said...

Apologies for typos. iPad auto-correct hastiness and not a robot focus posting.

Wilbur said...

Why didn't he run for Prez?

In the 80's - 90's a Dem still needed the South, or at least a portion of it, to win.

Never forgot the Southern local-level politician, who when asked about Cuomo's chances, observed "Ain't nobody in my county named Mario".

sydney said...

The other thing that made him famous was his stance on abortion. He claimed to be against it but said it was his moral duty to support it as a politician because it was the law of the land. For some reason the chatterati swooned over that.
There is nothing principled about that stance, nor is it the stance of someone with a conscience. People who oppose abortion, especially Catholics which Cuomo claimed to be, oppose it because they believe it kills an innocent person. Now take Cuomo's position and instead of applying it to unborn babies, apply it some other group of people. "I oppose killing (insert religious group, ethnic group, gender, political class of your choice) but the law says it is our right to do so, therefore I must support the killing of (insert religious group, ethnic group, gender, political class of your choice.)

sydney said...

Sorry, but reading that New York Times obituary brought back all the bad memories for me of that guy. He was a sanctimonious hypocrite. The obit mentions an episode on a plane when it lost altitude. He kept on talking while a reporter near him "went ashen." His response? To insinuate that he was better prepared to meet his maker than the reporter. A person of true grace would have comforted the fearful reporter.

sydney said...

Here's another thing that used to get me about Cuomo. He would often talk about all the prejudice he had to overcome to succeed in politics as an Italian-American. Now, there are some places in America where that is true, but New York ain't one of them. Hello? LaGuardia? D'Amato? Ferraro? Giuliani? And the first two guys had even stranger first names than Mario.

sydney said...

Also, it is not wrong to point out that a deceased was not the holy saint that others are trying to make him out to be. It would be wrong to rejoice in his death. For my part, I hope he was able to clear his conscience before he died.

tim in vermont said...

This quote is so much better than any other New Conferdacy, Southern Old Boy Pube, who is now the voice of the republican party

Just sayin' Titus, but as long as people like you remain the voice of the Democrat Party, you are going to lose out on a lot of votes that you might otherwise have. But I am sure that the warm frisson of self esteem you feel from making such bigoted remarks is reward enough for you.

Humperdink said...

I am with you Sydney. For a guy who claimed to have had a hard time overcoming the prejudice of his Italian-American roots, he sure relished the opportunity to talk down to people. Hence, the apropos moniker Mario the Pious.

tim in vermont said...

I lived in Upstate NY when Cuomo per was Governor. He sold us out. Now Cuomo fils has sold out Upstate once again with his fracking ban, based on zero evidence.

4,500 hours were spent researching the health risks of fracking and the best the guy in charge of the effort could come up with was that it would probably be found harmful by studies not yet done, "like second hand smoke."

So if Cuomo taught his son one thing, it is that Upstate NY can be screwed over at will.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


He was a Progressive and, so, wrong (as wrong can be) on all the important people-impacting issues.

And an early example of the tactic that if you just talk about something, you don't actually have to do anything about it. Enough people will just remember that 'you cared'.

St. George said...

Gravitas!

He was Mr. Helium, and Obama is Lord Hydrogen.

One is inert, the other...

Charlie Currie said...

Diddling: To cheat or swindle.

Also, as it relates to sex - He was diddling his neighbor's wife. He was diddling everything that walked by in a skirt.

Cuomo dithered and diddled.

Kyzernick said...

I lived in Upstate NY under Cuomo. I was young, but I remember a lot of people were really really happy when Pataki beat him for governor in '92. My father was not one of those people. He worked for the State in Albany, and he did a lot of overtime (which was really just him sitting at his desk a few hours later each night, not doing much actual work). Pataki came into office and slashed the overtime for office workers, and tis upset my parents. In hindsight (cuz at the time my opinion was colored) it was the right move by Pataki. Folks like my Dad were just chilling in the office longer to get paid more. I mean, if given the opportunity to do that I might have done it too, but that doesn't mean it's a good use of taxpayer money.

richard mcenroe said...

Cubanbob I've been dumping on Cuomo since he was in office. I had to live and serve under the jackass. See no reason to stop now.

mikee said...

That Mario did not die long ago of embarrassment over his son's political career is testament to Mario's inner strength.

That acorn fell quite far, ethically, from the tree.

CatherineM said...

Tim in Vermont. Yup. It's the down staters who killed fracking. In my town meetings the worry was the upstate yokels will cash in and poison our city water. Not kidding.