Governor Cuomo was supposed to be talking to reporters about the bad weather yesterday but the conversation shifted to another storm on his horizon – the possibility that actress Cynthia Nixon could be challenging him in a September primary.
Asked about whether Mayor de Blasio could be pushing the “Sex and the City” star into the political arena, Cuomo joked on a conference call: “I think it was either the mayor of New York or Vladimir Putin. I am going to leave it to you, great investigative reporters to follow the facts and ferret out the truth.”
But it doesn’t take a Bob Woodward – or a Kremlinologist -- to see de Blasio’s fingerprints on the Nixon boomlet. Two of the mayor’s old political operatives, Rebecca Katz and Bill Hyers, are talking with Nixon and the mayor would certainly like nothing more than to see the governor take the fall in a September primary.
If you weren’t paying attention, the mayor brought out his highlighter yesterday, noting: “I obviously have real political differences with the governor.’’
De Blasio worked for Cuomo when Cuomo served as federal housing secretary and perhaps that relationship has never left the mind of the governor, who often treats the mayor as a bumbling progressive wanna-be who can’t get things done.
The irony is that there are few substantive policy differences between the two men but they differ greatly when it comes to style points. And a clash in styles is more than enough to keep their clash moving ahead.
While it’s entertaining political theater to see Cuomo and de Blasio make roundhouse punch after roundhouse punch, it’s a dangerous time for New York’s Democratic house to be divided while President Trump puts the city in his budget cross-hairs. It doesn’t take Vladimir Putin to undermine the Empire State these days.
Programming note: The ItCH is taking a break and will be back next Tuesday!