The words “terror,” “terrorism” and “security” do not appear in transcripts of any of Cuomo’s first three State of the State speeches. He used them this January to note that he was hiring former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to help him establish an emergency preparedness college, to address not just terror threats, but also natural disasters.
As recently as May, Cuomo created a commission to “reinvent” New York City’s mass transit system — which is on everybody’s short list of likely terror targets. Yet his mandate for the panel made no mention of preparing for bombs or poison gas — only weather-related threats such as hurricanes and flooding. Nor do any of the commission members seem to have especially notable expertise in security.
Four months later, roughly coinciding with both the 9/11 anniversary and the traditional start of campaign season, the trajectory changed. Cuomo organized a series of high-profile events that simultaneously reminded New Yorkers that terrorism remains a real threat while attempting to show that he was on the job.
He met with federal and local security officials. He announced joint exercises and beefed-up enforcement with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. In the wake of reports of a terror plot, he very publicly rode the E train to show he was not afraid, a level of courage demonstrated on a daily basis by millions of ordinary New Yorkers.
But his most attention-grabbing step of all was a Defense Department-sponsored flight to Afghanistan with a bipartisan group of four governors, three of whom are up for reelection. The schedule included briefings from military officials and chances to pose in armored vehicles and with wounded soldiers.
From no mention of the issue for the first three years of his governorship to an election-season focus on the issue, replete with photo ops with wounded vets in Afghanistan.
And yet Cuomo has the audacity to claim his opponent, Rob Astorino, is playing politics with security when Astorino criticized Cuomo's anti-terrorism gamesmanship.
Cuomo's full of shit on most issues, but this anti-terrorism issue is especially bullshit-laded.