What better epilogue to the “new, upbeat Andrew Cuomo” story than the scene at his victory party last night:
As two jumbo screens projected Andrew Cuomo as winner on opposite sides of a Sheraton ballroom, Mario Cuomo walked around the round tables accepting hugs and kisses from former colleagues and donors. Enthusiasm built in anticipation of the victor’s arrival.
Eventually, Charlie King and Christine Quinn shushed the crowd and introduced Cuomo, to furious applause. An enormous smile spread across his face and his fist pumped in the air. He introduced his family, nuclear and extended, and, being the new Andrew Cuomo, thanked Mark Green.
“I want to applaud Mark Green,” said Mr. Cuomo. “He called me, he endorsed me, he was gracious. He ran a very very strong campaign, he made me a better candidate and I look forward to working with him.”
He thanked his campaign workers and Jennifer Cunningham, “whose birthday is tomorrow,” and who stood elated in the back of the room, putting down her tumbler to clap.
Mr. Cuomo then went on the offensive, attacking “the reign of the two Georges” referring to Bush and Pataki, and announcing that “we will not replace Eliot Spitzer with their handpicked candidate Jeanine Pirro. Period.”
Mr. Cuomo’s speech built to a crescendo, he called himself the “comeback candidate” and the crowd cheered some more. It was the perfect punctuation to his campaign. Except it wasn’t the end. Strangely, Alan Hevesi was called to the podium. (“I was just saying to Andrew Cuomo how much Andrew sounds like Matilda,” he said.) Then Bill Thompson spoke. Then Christine Quinn. Again. Cuomo’s smile turned back to an old fashioned glare as excitement seeped from the room. Finally the band struck up some departing music and the smile returned to Cuomo’s face as supporters rushed forward to shake his hand.