Late on Monday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo snapped. He didn't do it in an epic, Frank Grimes kind of way, but per stories in the New York Times and Capital Confidential, the governor was less-than-cheerful at what should have been a triumphant press conference following his successful meeting with legislators over restructuring the Long Island Power Authority.
"Do you feel fear?" Cuomo snarled, when NY1's Zack Fink asked him about a climate of fear in Albany over federal investigations into lawmakers. "Are you afraid?" Fink said he was not, and Cuomo shot back, "I think they’re afraid of you ... I think you strike fear into the hearts of men and women." The press reports didn't offer much speculation as what could be bothering Cuomo, so let's examine the governor's day for things that could have gotten under his skin:
- Cuomo would have woken up to Fredric Dicker's column in the New York Post reporting that several "significant departures" were on the horizon because, "there’s a lot of abuse that’s involved in working for the governor." Cuomo and Dicker have been on the outs recently, so that can't have been fun.
- Then there was the luncheon of the UJA-Federation of New York, where the Times' Thomas Kaplan tweets the governor took a second position to Sen. Chuck Schumer: "Major violation of Cuomo ground rules: b/c of a scheduling change, Chuck Schumer, not Cuomo, has the prime speaking slot at the UJA lunch."
- After lunch, the governor went on The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter, where he expressed concern that the growing political scandals in Albany would overshadow the year's legislative session: "What I’m trying mightily to do is not allow the Scandalmania — ’cuz you know how the press is with scandals and that becomes all-consuming — I don’t want that to eclipse the session and I don’t want it to derail the session because we have a lot of good work to do out there for New Yorkers who just want their government to function."
- During the afternoon, Cuomo had a meeting with legislators to talk about restructuring the Long Island Power Authority, which actually went pretty well as he gained their tentative support for replacing the utility with service from Public Service Electric & Gas Co. of New Jersey.
Basically, it wasn't a total disaster. Sure, Cuomo took a couple of knocks, but he got stuff done and had a chance to flog his agenda. He just seems annoyed about having to talk about "scandalmania" all day. "Do you really want to discuss this?" Cuomo retorted when asked whether the legislative session might be effectively over now. Hopefully, the governor has a couple of old Garfield books lying around the house to take the edge off his case of the Mondays.