Cuomo on Spitzer: What Rivalry?

As Eliot Spitzer finished telling the state Democratic Party here at the Garden City Hotel what a productive nine months they’ve had since taking over every statewide office, Andrew Cuomo walked into the room and sat in the front row.

Spitzer finished his speech, left the stage and exited the room. Cuomo sat smiling, unacknowledged by the governor who was assailed in the attorney general’s July 23rd report on the use of state police to track Republican Joe Bruno’s use of state aircraft.

Then, after a brief introduction, Cuomo took to the stage and with a preacher’s bravado in his voice, asked, “Are there any Democrats here?”

Outside the room afterwards, I had the following exchange with Cuomo:

Me: “Were you surprised that Eliot walked out as you were walking in?”

Cuomo: “No. One speaker finishes and another speaker starts.”

Me: “You guys didn’t shake hands, didn’t say hello. You were right in the front row. It seemed like a missed opportunity for you guys to publicly show that whatever people might have read into any kind of rivalry…”

Cuomo: “I don’t think people read into a rivalry. I don’t think there is a rivalry. So, I don’t think you’d have to compensate for one because I don’t think it exists in the first place.”