Levy Conjures Cuomo for Cautionary Tale on Bloomberg Bid

Larry Levy thinks there’s a limit to what can be learned from all the Bloomberg ’08 news stories.

“Even if you had a source saying Michael Bloomberg said he is running, the best thing you have is a source saying that Bloomberg has said he is running,” the former Newsday columnist told me yesterday.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean he is actually going to do it,” added Levy, who is now the head of Hofstra’s Center for Suburban Studies.

He recalled another New Yorker who flirted with running for president:

“I get a call from Mario Cuomo as the engines are warming up on the tarmac, heading out to New Hampshire. As was his wont in those days, he would call reporters he was comfortable with and he would read them copies of his speeches. So, he reads me the speech for [announcing a bid], and the speech against [running]. When you were covering him, you always knew that he did this. He would tell you one way, and if you weren’t careful, you would jump to the wrong conclusion.

“And I said, ‘what are you going to do,’ and he says, ‘I haven’t made up my mind yet,‘ and I said, ‘O.K.’

“He calls up Jimmy Breslin, who is not used to covering Mario Cuomo, and reads Jimmy the speech as if he was running for president. And Breslin gets so excited he says, ‘I gotta go, I gotta go,’ and hangs up on Cuomo. And he [Breslin] goes up and writes a column that Mario Cuomo is running for president, quoting from his speech. And he was of course wrong.

“So, how do you know? You never know.”

Levy Conjures Cuomo for Cautionary Tale on Bloomberg Bid