Total Pageviews

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cuomo Delivers Convention Speech - of Sorts


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In his sole public appearance at a national party gathering in which he simultaneously avoided and stoked national attention, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday delivered a convention-style speech filled with tart-tongued denunciations of Republican economic policies as well as praise for New York as a progressive ideal for the country.

The governor, speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the New York State Democratic Committee, offered an unmistakable argument for his leadership as a new model of how Democrats can govern - on taxes, education and same-sex marriage - and struck many as a preview of the case for a presidential run by Mr. Cuomo in 2016.

Although he was speaking to 400 New Yorkers in a banquet tent on the outskirts of the city, Mr. Cuomo's speech seemed tailored to the Democratic National Convention hall 10 miles away, as he slipped between addressing his audience as “New Yorkers” and “America,” blew air-kisses and strutted off the balloon-bedecked stage to Bon Jovi's “Work for the Working Man.”

“When one of us is raised, we are all raised,” he said, his voice rising to a full shout as the crowd leapt to its feet. “When one of us is low, we are all low.”

“The sweetest success,” he said, “is shared success.”

Mr. Cuomo, unlike several other possible 2016 presidential contenders, had declined a speaking slot on the convention program, and refused to hobnob with Democratic activists this week. He canceled a fund-raiser with top Democratic donors to avoid unwanted headlines. He waited until Thursday morning to fly in from New York, and planned a quick exit after President Obama's speech Thursday evening.

But the preparations surrounding the address by Mr. Cuomo were extensive. Aides set up rope lines to pen in dozens of reporters for his speech, and after he finished, the normally voluble and friendly governor es caped through a side exit, rather than mingling with guests.

His address was the most anticipated event of the week for the New York political establishment, drawing much of the state's Congressional delegation, as well as a figure who rarely accompanies Mr. Cuomo to local political events: his girlfriend, Sandra Lee, who sprung out of her folding chair at applause lines like a seasoned campaign spouse.