Oh Andy Baby, Can’t You See, I’m in Misery?

I know for a fact that I’m not the first to develop a sort of leader-crush on Andrew Cuomo. Maureen Dowd wrote an excellent piece about her own ever-changing respect and admiration for him over time just the other day.

I’ll be honest. My family moved to the greater New York City metro area five years ago, and if you’d asked me then who any of its local or state politicians were. I’d have said I’d heard of Chuck Schumer and that was it. The guy casts a long shadow.

However, if you’d told me a Cuomo was our governor when we first arrived here, I’d have assumed it was Mario, not Andrew. In fact I still accidentally called him Mario for the past four and a half years or so.

But now? Now, there is no mistaking him. It’s All About Andrew. Since this hideous pandemic exploded in our state, and the world, I have become glued to Youtube to watch his streaming, daily press conferences.

At first, I found Governor Cuomo amusing. He’s got that blunt New Yorker style — he tells it like it is, (unlike our commander-in-buffoonery, who tells it like he wants it to be.)

I loved it when reporters asked vague and impossible questions and Governor Cuomo would say, with just the tiniest bit of exasperation, “I don’t know.” There’s nothing sexier than an honest man.

Cuomo also has a great sense of humor. When the state began to make its own hand sanitizer, he showed it off by sampling some, and then, bringing his hand to his nose, said, “It has a nice floral bouquet”. He then began listing the random flowers he could smell.

But, you see, he was KIDDING. Who gives a shit if the hand sanitizers have fragrances? Who has time for that? He later mentioned that he’d been kidding about the fact that the hand sanitizers were fragranced, and then said “I thought it was an obvious joke,” but apparently, he declared, not everyone has his sense of humor. Oh. Andrew. I get you. I really do.

And now, daily, he is a soothing balm of honesty, bluntness, and leadership. He speaks clearly, gets to the point, answers some questions, and then gets the hell outta dodge. He’s got too much to do to sit around and answer impossible questions.

He also knows how to play politics. It is clear that he loathes our president, but he is too professional to betray it. After all, he has to make nice or else Trump won’t call him back. He’ll make Mike Pence do it. It’s hard to imagine a conversation between Andrew Cuomo and Mike Pence: While Cuomo uses a minimum of words for maximum impact, Pence uses a surfeit of words to say absolutely nothing

And, as Cuomo says, “Words matter.” A stark contrast to the words (and facts, and statistics) that Trump regularly invents out of thin air.

So, there it is. I’m loving my daily dose of Vitamin Andrew C. When things look shaky everywhere else, he is the grounding force and voice of reason that reminds me that we will indeed survive this mess, and that, as he always signs off in his email updates, we should always be looking ever upward.

“Even in crisis, I maintain.” -Marilyn Kessler