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From Steamroller to Happy Warrior?

Spitzer’s new guru wants to make him another Al Smith.

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Can Eliot Spitzer become a latter-day Al Smith? Bruce Gyory, an Albany vet hired by the embattled governor last week to tune his political tin ear, hopes so. A self-described “nerd student of history and political trends,” Gyory served under Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. Gyory says his appointment as senior adviser is a surprising twist in his relationship with Spitzer, which started ten years ago. Spitzer became a fan of the “laborious” annual memo Gyory prepares about state and national voting patterns and circulates among his politico “geek” friends, and the two bonded over political history. Now Gyory will use his historical expertise to help the governor. “If he can develop the advocacy and coalition-building skills that one associates with Al Smith or perhaps Nelson Rockefeller, I think he can still be what some might call a ‘great’ governor.” Of the appointment, one insider says, “This is a smart one for Eliot Spitzer. He needs to get people talking to him again, and Bruce Gyory can do that.”

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