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early and often

Andrew Cuomo Looks to Abraham Lincoln for Campaign Strategy

Despite reports indicating that Carl Paladino's taunts are getting to Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic front-runner insisted today that he won't stoop to the tea partier's level anytime soon. Because that's not what Abraham Lincoln would do. According to the Daily Politics:


Based on Cuomo's appearance today, it seems he still doesn't want to get down in the mud, saying he'd prefer to be like Lincoln and “speak to people's better angels.” ....

He said he wants to talk about the differences over the issues, agendas, and experience: “In terms of getting involved in a name-calling situation, I'm not going to do that,” Cuomo insisted ....

“I'm not going to run a campaign that engages in gutter politics,” Cuomo said. “I'm going to run a campaign that talks to the people of the state about the issues that are important to the people of the state.”

Cuomo even disavowed the photo released by state Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs — who has been serving as Cuomo's attack dog — which portrayed Paladino as a pig.


"I don't think that was necessary," Cuomo said on Albany's WGDJ 1300-AM. "I don't think that's a dialogue that we need to engage in. I want to uplift I don't want to be part of a discussion that degrades. I don't think we need to go there, the collective we."

Still, one thing that would be particularly useful in comparing substantive "issues, agendas, and experience" is holding at least one debate. After saying last week that he was "open" to debating Paladino, Cuomo clarified today that the two sides would need to agree on some conditions first.


“If it’s a reasonable situation and they can agree on the details, then yes. If you can’t agree on the details, then no,” Cuomo said on Fred Dicker’s radio program.

Cuomo would prefer to debate Paladino and Conservative Party nominee Rick Lazio, but reportedly believes that Paladino wants the debate to include City Councilman Charles Barron, running on the liberal but anti-Democrat "Freedom Party" line, and Kristin Davis, the Client 9–linked madam running on the "Anti-Prohibition Party" (as in, marijuana) line. That wouldn't be the best scenario for Cuomo, but it would be one of the most amazing things to ever happen on television, so let's do that.

Andrew Cuomo: Keep Your Gutter Politics To Yourself, Carl Paladino » [Daily Politics/NYDN]

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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images