Thursday, April 24, 2014


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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: Cuomo And Bloomberg Are Rumbling On The River

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TWC News: NY1 ItCH: Cuomo And Bloomberg Are Rumbling On The River
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It sounds like a wacky scene that was cut out of "Meatballs" -- the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City decide to settle their bitter political rivalry in a Whitewater raft race in the Adirondacks. But New York's two most powerful leaders are actually squaring off in such a race upstate today.

This awesome political stunt is ostensibly about promoting tourism in the Adirondacks but can Cuomo and Bloomberg – who can barely stand each other – really not care about who finishes first in the race between their six-person rafts? Actually employing pushup contests and foot races in the Capitol, Cuomo made his aides compete for a coveted position on his raft. The mayor's intrepid group will include Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Director of Public Affairs Frank Barry.

Team Cuomo already took home a win yesterday -- beating rafts launched by the State Senate and State Assembly. But I can only imagine the screaming that will echo in the second floor of the Capitol should Bloomberg – with his team of downstate interlopers -- steal a victory today.

Perhaps like President Obama's "beer summit", the raft race could start a political trend. Maybe we could see John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi square off over a round of Angry Birds or Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer thumb wrestle their way to better judicial juju. While this may be the political equivalent of a hotdog-eating contest, the state should consider making this into a pay-per-view event next year to help close the budget gap. In the meantime, I hope the mayor is wearing his life vest.

Bob Hardt

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