A mock up of a newspaper headline and photo of U.S. President Donald Trump is displayed on a screen as New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticizes Trump's handling of COVID-19 at a news conference

In New NYT Profile, Andrew Cuomo Is Just Democrat Trump

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A new profile of disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the New York Times paints a picture of a man who was born into a dynasty of entitlement and lived in the shadow of a “ruthless” father to whom he could never live up, a man who has no friends and whom “no one has ever liked”—a “calculated and patronizing” bully.

Basically, he is Donald Trump.

Last year, Cuomo temporarily gained national praise for presenting himself as the anti-Trump in the face of a global pandemic. Those of us living outside of New York took notice because his no-nonsense, proactive persona was everything we weren’t getting from our federal leadership. But what’s that great Marian Keyes quote? “The things we dislike most in others are the characteristics we like least in ourselves.” Cuomo and Trump may have seemed like opposites but in reality, they were two sides of the same coin.

The profile was written by Miriam Pawel, who has been reporting on Cuomo and his father, former governor Mario Cuomo, since 1983. She describes the similarities between the two men. “Both were ruthless competitors, prone to bullying. Both were control freaks, inclined to trust very few people outside a small circle of confidants,” she writes.

But, she writes, “the differences between the two men were as apparent as their similarities.” So much of Pawel’s profile reminded me of Mary Trump’s memoir, which gave horrifying insights into her family, describing a patriarch (Fred Trump) who offered his sons immediate entry to a world of privilege and opportunity, but also instilled in them a foundational inferiority complex.

Here are some key quotes/sick burns about Cuomo from Pawel’s piece:

Mario Cuomo’s sharp elbows on the basketball court and pugilistic verbal gymnastics were wrapped in moral complexity, intellectual heft and Jesuitical questioning. His son exhibited none of those qualities. He had inherited his father’s fierce, win-at-any-cost competitive spirit without the humanity or introspection.

Just like Trump, the most important thing in the world is attaining power exclusively for power’s sake. Cuomo, Pawel writes, “was shaped in the crucible of his father’s career and tied himself to his father with an arrogance that never wavered as he moved from 24-year-old campaign manager to the office to which he felt entitled.”

Andrew Cuomo adopted his father’s cadences, often speaking in rhythms that evoked his father’s trademark phrases. But the words were never memorable.

Trump, too, wanted to be just like his father, but it’s impossible to have much substance when your only driving force is to be a more successful version of the person whose shadow you’ve always existed in.

“The problem with Cuomo is no one has ever liked him,” Richard Ravitch told the Times reporter Shane Goldmacher. “He’s not a nice person, and he doesn’t have any real friends.”

That’s just Trump, to a T.

Each of these two men left office “the way he arrived”: “convinced of his ability to bully his way to yet another upset victory.”

Both men left their jobs in utter disgrace, and both did everything they could to keep one foot in the door, holding out hope that they could bully their way back into office.

Cuomo positioned himself as Trump’s opposite but they really could not be more similar men.

(via NYT, image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.