It was an odd sight: New York's two most prominent Democrats were speaking at rival events in Albany yesterday with Mayor de Blasio pushing universal pre-k in a rally at an armory while a fired-up Gov. Cuomo all but screamed his support for charter schools at an even-larger event outside the Capitol.
Clearly not on the same educational page, the two leaders later met privately for nearly two hours in the governor's office. It would have been magnificent to have been a fly in the wall to hear the two men trying to hash out their differences. Afterwards, de Blasio spoke to reporters about the meeting, saying he didn't think the rival charter school rally stepped on his pre-k concerns. But estranged parents sometimes go on separate dates and then try to reassure the children that everything's ok with Mommy and Daddy.
Already buying ad time upstate, Cuomo is going into full campaign mode. He even schmoozed and drank vodka with Albany reporters at a birthday party on Monday night -- which is like Superman hanging out and kicking back in a room filled with Krytponite.
Cuomo's hugs with the charter school movement are also winning love from moderates and conservatives. "The further to the left the mayor goes, the more reasonable the governor looks," observes the New York Post's John Podhoretz. The lanky mayor is a perfect liberal tower for the governor to triangulate around as he prepares to take on a Republican sparring partner in November. While de Blasio won in a landslide last year, he needs to remember that even though he's holding a rally in the state capital, no one voted for him in Albany.