You can’t turn on the television without seeing an advertisement from some kind of a dating service who suggest that they can find you a love interest. I would like to see myself as being that kind of a practitioner rather than that word which connotes something far more sinister. In fact, when I write something favorable about a politician, and I do that a lot, I am often called something unkind.
Sometimes those unkind words, or those hinting at that, will come from some of the other people who make their living covering state politics. Since I have been interviewing the governor for a half an hour every week, they will tweet each other, real time, during my interviews castigating my questions to the governor. I don’t want to be defensive but if you look up my columns on Cuomo the Younger, you will see that I have always been fairly tough on the guy. Not everyone does that, of course, just a few. I love the aggregator, The Empire Report, which has been very kind to me. But we are moving far afield of the basic reason for writing this column.
It involves a letter I received from a nice lady who wanted to be in touch with the governor. She asked me to facilitate a relationship with the guy. Now anyone, including me, who wants to send something to Cuomo can put it in an envelope and send it to the State Capitol in Albany, New York. Since it is safe to assume at a lot of people do that, one can only wonder why she chose me as the go-between. Perhaps she wrongly assumes that I have some special relationship with Andrew Cuomo, just as they thought I had with his father who I interviewed statewide for so many years.
So here comes the truth. I have never enjoyed a meal with either of the Cuomos. I never attended the holiday parties to which the two Cuomo governors invited the press. I just got lucky in both cases and had an opportunity to come face to face with their greatness. Did Mario ever get mad at me for a question? I remember the time when I asked him if he was opposed to the death penalty in every case. I asked him if he was opposed to the execution of Adolph Eichmann. Wow, did he not like that question since he had so many Jewish constituents. I recently asked Andrew about his laudatory words about the press (in obvious contradistinction to Trump who recently said that he’d like to execute members of the press). I asked Andrew if he had ever changed his mind about anything based on what might be construed as a challenging question from the press. He said that he had not. ‘Nuff said.
In any case, the woman who wrote asked me to transmit a proposal to Andrew. In her opening, she said that if he was reading the letter it was because she had been “aided and abetted by Dr. Alan Chartock— good man that he is.” Our letter writer said, “I would like to invite you out to dinner.” She suggested that since she lived two and a half hours from Albany, the restaurant could be “somewhere in the middle — your choice.” She said that she had no ulterior motives; “just a nice meal between two adults.”
Our writer wanted the governor to know that she is “5’4” with hazel eyes, dark red hair and while not willowy, I am not fat.” She offered to send pictures.
Finally, she made it clear that, no matter what the result, “you have done a great job in all ways.”
Since I am pretty sure that Cuomo reads my stuff, consider the message delivered. But please, this is not in my portfolio.
Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the State University of New York, publisher of the Legislative Gazette and president and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Readers can email him at [email protected]