It’s Cuomo. Ever since the day after his speech, he’s been acting weird. Remember? He gave his State of the State speech and did the dorky thing he always does – he made a totally lame attempt at humor. This time is was the Three Amigos — Cuomo, Silver and Skelos in sombreros. Hah, hah. But what happened? The very next day, PB exposed Silver for using his office to get rich. As we’ve written, we still have our doubts about whether Silver’s actions constitute a federal crime or not, but we’re not disputing the fact that he’s now the all-time poster boy for personal gain in public office.
The Three Amigos is the picture worth a thousand words. It’s the punch line for PB. It tied Cuomo to Silver and Skelos in a way that PB never could.
Cuomo knows it. He knows that everybody else knows it and now he’s desperate to change the perception.
The latest maneuvering has a different quality. It’s not hard pragmatism, which you can more or less respect if it’s driven by a desire to reach a policy goal that’s good for the realm.
What he’s doing has a totally different feel. He’s rushing to reposition himself and he doesn’t care who he upsets or alienates. It’s all about getting on the right side of PB and it has a frantic, scared quality to it.
There is no doubt there has been a frenetic quality to the second term.
Even before the Silver arrest, there was a frenetic pace to the pre-State of the State/budget address policy rollouts - there was one a day every day for about a week and a half.
Then came the Silver arrest the day after the State of the State/budget address and Cuomo's been even more frenetic since - threatening the legislature, insulting whole cities, pushing back on negative news stories with a sledgehammer, now taking on Long Island school districts over teacher evaluation systems that NYSED signed off on.
I was wondering why he would take on Long Island school districts in an evaluation fight - that made no sense to me because it's a fight he isn't going to win.
These are well-funded, well-heeled districts we're talking about, where people like their public schools and respect the teachers who teach there.
It's one thing for Cuomo to take on "failing" schools in NYC, Syracuse, Rochester or Buffalo - there's polling to indicate that could be a winning fight for him.)
But public schools and public school teachers are very popular in a lot of Long Island districts and the affluent people who live in those districts aren't going to sit still while he screws with their schools.
The attack on the Long Island districts struck me as ill-conceived - and I wasn't the only one.
Here was Michael Fiorillo:
Indeed it might end up like that - especially now that we see some polling showing only 10% of New Yorkers blame "failing" schools on teachers.
Cuomo's getting increasingly shrill and personal in pushing his education reform agenda and, to borrow another WWII metaphor, this just might be a bridge too far for the governor.
And even if it doesn't quite end up that way, it surely is an indication of desperation on Cuomo's part that he's decided taking on affluent school districts in an evaluation fight is a winning gambit.
Here's NT2 again:
The way Cuomo and his people are acting now is really scaring us.
They are acting like they don’t need friends – which is a recipe for a downfall.
They are fighting with everyone. And some of these fights make no sense at all. They lashed out at Dicker yesterday for reporting what everyone knows – that Schwartz hasn’t left the administration. Why react that way? Is it going to influence Dicker? Is it going to scare him? Fred is exultant right now. This moment goes into the FUD Pantheon – Norman Adler, Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson and now Andrew Cuomo. He’s bested them all.
That Cuomo, who knows Dicker better than anyone, allowed himself to do this is a bad sign. That Fred is back after an extended period of irrelevancy is scary too. What happens in situations like this is that everyone who’s fed up with Cuomo now starts to feed Dicker info. Few people were talking to Fred a while back, but now everyone will again.
It’s a bad dynamic. Nobody is afraid of Cuomo and his people anymore. There’s no fear, no respect, and thanks to the administration’s long record of churlishness — no friendship.
We hate to say it, but this has the mark of an administration that’s teetering.
Fred Dicker reported earlier this month that Cuomo was "rattled" by the fed investigations into Albany and was way off his game.
If anything, that "rattled" thing Cuomo's got going has gotten even worse since that Dicker column earlier this month.