Andrew Cuomo's leading lady may be a star in her own right, but the celebrity chef still seems a bit uncertain about her new political role. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
At last week's state Democratic convention, Sandra Lee stepped out of the kitchen to stand by her man, State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Her boyfriend was, after all, accepting his party's nomination to run for governor.
"It's a beautiful thing to see. And he's wonderful. He deserved it," Lee said.
Lee hosts two television cooking shows, has her own magazine, and has written 17 books. But she's a newcomer to politics. And she and her team don't seem fully prepared for reporters more interested in the campaign trail than canapes.
Local news outlets, including NY1, had been invited to cover Lee at a Starkist tuna fish and charity promotion Thursday. But just before, the station was told she wouldn't be available for an interview.
Lingering reporters were later instructed that they could speak to Lee, but only if they agreed to stick to the issue of the day -- health and heart issues. NY1 refused, but two other outlets agreed to the conditions. Lee eventually emerged from her trailer to talk with NY1 without any groundrules.
"He's very thoughtful. I mean, who comes out with a 240 page book to do a job," asked Lee. "I have read parts of the book. Are you kidding? It's 240 pages."
What Lee was referring to, of course, was Cuomo's new policy book. It's 224 pages, with extensive footnotes.
Meanwhile, Lee says she's got a busy schedule this summer.
"My magazine, we'll be shooting that, right after we shoot Semi-Homemade, and I've got to shoot four book covers in July. So, I'm a little busy. Plus, you know, we've got kids. We'll be working," Lee said.
It won't be the last time Lee faces questions about the campaign. After all, the slugfest for the governor's mansion is just beginning.
It's likely, of course, New Yorkers will see more of Lee and her signature charm offensive out on the campaign trail.