Friday, January 11, 2008

Andrew Cuomo - "Barack Obama Beautiful Symbol; Powerful Speaker"

As it turns out, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo did not say the now infamous "shuck and jive" statement in refernce to Senator Barack Obama. He was talking in general terms about what politicians should do and how they should conduct themselves in a campaign. This is the full transcript of what Cuomo said from the Albany Times Union:

Fred Dicker: You know I’ve said this on my show before, I think the American people are very lucky to have most these candidates, the major party candidates, I think they’re all quality people, they have disagreements, but they’re all quite talented, and I think the people of Iowa and now New Hampshire really have allowed the rest of America to see much of this because I think to their great credit it requires politicians to kind of get down, not kind of, get down in the grassroots, I think I heard John McCain say he had something like 110 community meeting before the primaries - fabulous - you know, I wish we could see that here in New York.

Andrew Cuomo: You know I’ve spent a lot of time in other races, especially in Iowa and in New Hampshire, back with Gore and back with Clinton. Those races require you to do something no other race does, you know, and I like it, and I agree with you, it’s a good thing. It’s not a TV-crazed race, you know, you can’t just buy your way through that race [FD: Airport press conference and the media markets…..], it doesn’t work that way, it’s frankly a more demanding process. You have to get on a bus, you have to go into a diner, you have to shake hands, you have to sit down with ten people in a living room. You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference, you can’t just put off reporters, because you have real people looking at you saying answer the question, you know, and all those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you’re in someone’s living room. And I think it’s good for the candidates, I think it makes the candidates communicate in a way that works with real people because you know in a living room right away whether or not you’re communicating, and I think the questions are good and I think the scrutiny is good, so you can, you can say they’re small states and they get a lot of attention — they are very good for the process, I believe that.

And Ben Smith of the Politico wrote this about what Cuomo thinks of Senator Obama:

"Barack Obama is a beautiful symbol. He's a powerful speaker. He's a charismatic figure. And what he has to say is important for the Democrats," Cuomo says in the interview, with the New York Post's Fred Dicker.

"It was never about Obama in the first place," Cuomo told me of the use of the phrase, which he said he was using "as a synonym for 'bob and weave.'"

All I can say is "whew!" Because in this campaign some people I've admired for a long time, prominent Democratic elected officials, have really said some terrible things, from Senator Clinton's dis of MLK, to Bob Kerrey's focus on Barack Obama's mythical religious background. A lot of Clinton supporters have said some really dumb things racially.

But I was hurt to discover Andrew Cuomo amoung them according to the Huffington Post at the time, and now I'm happy that's not the case. His father, Mario Cuomo was a hero to me, and I'd always rooted for his son. But yes, I'm an Obama supporter, and when I saw the Huff Post, my anger hit the ceiling.

I can chill now.

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