Cornering Cuomo on His Presidential Picks


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At Charles Grodin’s book party at Le Cirque on Wednesday, we stopped by to ask former governor Mario Cuomo if we could have a word. Cuomo began by introducing us to his dinner partner. “This is Sandy Frucher,” he said. “Of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. Just made a big deal. NASDAQ is buying them out, and that’s like a $700 million deal. And even he’s here!” His mind wandered. “Who took my wine?” The wine was located. We figured it was as good a time as any to ask the tough questions. Who were his presidential picks? “I think Hillary wins the Democratic primary. I think Romney wins the Republican primary,” he said. “I suspect and I hope this is not true: That neither Hillary nor Romney is going to be such a towering figure that it will preclude third people from coming in.”

Um … which third people, Mario? “Bloomberg, Hagel. And you have to remember that Bloomberg will have, according to Kevin Sheekey, his person, a billion dollars. Not a million, not a hundred million, a billion dollars to spend on a race.” Moving on! Where did the former governor fall on the debate over our current governor’s efforts to give drivers’ licenses to immigrants? He reached into his wallet and pulled out a card. “I have mine.” Sandy Frucher butted in: “But was your father able to get one?” “I don’t want to get involved in that,” said Cuomo. “Frucher for president!” Wait, now where is our wine? —Rob Fischer