Political archaeologists will mark 2/18/2021 and Morning Joe on MSNBC as the day and place New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio entered the 2022 New York State gubernatorial primary. Against incumbent Andrew Cuomo, should he seek a fourth term, as his father did unsuccessfully.
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski asked Blas who he believed was being truthful in the war raging between Cuomo and NYS Assemblyman Ron Kim, who claims that Cuomo threatened to “destroy” him during a telephone call, if Kim didn’t retract a charge that he made about Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s Secretary (the real number 2 in NYS) and her purported admission about the state’s classification of deaths from Covid by nursing home residents transferred to hospitals. Previously, HL has made two things perfectly clear:
The classification scandal is much ado about nothing. Second, Cuomo has performed spectacularly well in dealing with the horrible Covid hand dealt to New York, city and state. The Mayor clearly and repeatedly told Brzezinski that he believed Kim, implied that Cuomo was lying and that the alleged threat was typical of Cuomo’s modus operandi. For his part, Cuomo disputes Kim’s version of their conversation and claims to have “three witnesses” to corroborate his version.
Readers of HL know that we don’t post unless we have significant knowledge of or experience with a subject. But since neither we nor the mayor heard the conversation, he should have told Mika “dunno, wasn’t there.” But we have been there when a threat exactly like the one alleged this time was made by another governor to another state assemblyman, saying he was a fucking steamroller, and I’ll roll over you and anybody else.
It was said with a smile on his face while paraphrasing James Taylor, who recently had performed for the governor, who expected that this type of very common sparring between electeds would not be repeated to the press. It was then, and also this time, by Kim – accurately or not.
And we have considerable experience with Cuomo and his many “witnesses.” It’s certain that whomever they are, they will back him. Andrew was far more likely to dispatch them to deliver a threat or caution flag to Kim and also more likely to try to discipline Kim through an intermediary, like Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. That’s how Andrew works.
When Cuomo wanted HL to stop criticizing his qualifications to become New York’s Attorney General, he called our friend, then the AG and soon to become governor. Years later when Cuomo wanted to warn us not to write bad things about him in a well-publicized forthcoming book, he dispatched a former AG to warn us. And one fine Sunday he dragged top staff to the “Second Floor” of the Capitol to commission a surrogate attack on us for writing about his tortured and conflicted government ethics reforms.
Given all that we think it highly unlikely that Kim was threatened directly in the manner alleged. And what was the point of all this? Oh yes, de Blasio is looking for a new job and telegraphing his intention to primary Cuomo. Let’s go back millions of seconds to a primary season not so far away – the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Recall candidate de Blasio, and what a pathetic candidate he was, making pandering promises. We wrote here about that campaign and its equally pathetic companion effort. HL 79 – “National Polls Confirm that Gillibrand and de Blasio are Zeroes.”
As is clear we don’t like Cuomo either. But he’s been a very effective governor and a heroic leader throughout the pandemic. We will put our money on him in any match against the mayor, any day.