ALBANY—Andrew Cuomo is not in this picture.
“We invited the attorney general and the attorney general thanked us for the invitation and said that he had another matter that he had to address,” David Paterson told reporters after he delivered a speech sounding, again, the fiscal alarm. “We invited all the statewide leaders.”
Cuomo is quietly gearing up for a statewide run which might be for Paterson’s job. Cuomo says constantly his “only plan” “at this time” is to run for re-election.
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson were all on the dais for the speech. Cuomo was not, but also absent were many of the other dignitaries–judges of the Court of Appeals, agency commissioners–that normally attend joint speeches like the State of the State address.
“He just, there was a scheduling conflict. It was a long-term scheduling conflict,” said John Milgrim, a spokesman for Cuomo.
This isn’t the first scheduling conflict Cuomo has developed when the photo-op would be awkward: he was also absent when Kirsten Gillibrand was named U.S. senator.