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Cuomo Highly Visible In Derailment's Aftermath

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TWC News: Cuomo Highly Visible In Derailment's Aftermath
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Governor Andrew Cuomo took the lead in front of the news media in the aftermath of the Metro-North train derailment Monday, the second time in two years where Cuomo has been highly visible during a crisis. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

Hours after Sunday's deadly train derailment, Governor Andrew Cuomo was on the scene of the disaster. Later that afternoon, he took the lead as the top official handling the crisis.

It was the second time that Cuomo embraced the spotlight in a New York City crisis. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last year, Cuomo offered daily media briefings in Manhattan, normally the turf of the mayor.

"I think mayors often get much more visibility than governors in New York, but I think in these particular crises, in Sandy and in this crisis, Governor Cuomo really rose to the occasion," said Mickey Blum of Baruch College.

The governor, who is normally averse to live television interviews, made TV appearances on both Sunday and Monday morning.

"I think that it may serve him well in a situation like this because he doesn't look like somebody who just tries to get in front of the camera every chance he possibly can, who holds the weekly press conference," Blum said.

Also making himself available for interviews at the scene Monday was Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a potential challenger to Cuomo in next year's gubernatorial election.

Astorino has struggled with name recognition, although it's early.

"Taking free media opportunities is a good way of signalling to other political leaders that you will be a viable candidate when the opportunity arises," said Kenneth Sherrill of Hunter College.

After remaining mostly on the sidelines the last several months during New York City's mayoral election, Cuomo is heading into a critical re-election year himself, where he will need to be highly visible. He's also on a potential collision with the mayor-elect over whether to raise taxes, an issue that will likely be decided in the first few months of 2014.

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