It’s a friendship of historic proportions.
Despite periodically undercutting Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed today he gets along swimmingly with the liberal mayor–and his friendship may represent the best bond of any New York mayor and governor in “modern political history.”
“You will never find a city and state government that work better together than these two governments will wind up working together,” Mr. Cuomo gushed to reporters in Manhattan. “I think I have seen every city and state administration going back 40, 50 years and this will be the best relationship between a mayor and governor in modern political history when all is said and done.”
To fulfill much of his progressive agenda, Mr. de Blasio will need the cooperation of Mr. Cuomo, a fellow Democrat with a centrist streak. Like mayors in the past who wrangled with powerful governors, Mr. de Blasio has at times struggled to negotiate the Albany terrain.
Mr. Cuomo and Mr. de Blasio have clashed often over the past year. During the last budget season, Mr. Cuomo shot down a proposed income tax from Mr. de Blasio to fund his universal prekindergarten expansion (Mr. Cuomo eventually signed off on a plan to fund the program through the state budget.)
From a minimum wage hike for New York City (Mr. de Blasio wants the wage at $13, Mr. Cuomo has said $11.50 is enough), to building housing on Sunnyside Yards (Mr. de Blasio is in favor, Mr. Cuomo is not), Mr. Cuomo has seemed to delight in foiling the mayor.
In the fall, Mr. Cuomo unveiled a new policy to combat the spread of Ebola in New York City. The mayor’s office got the news as Mr. Cuomo held a press conference with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie–Mr. de Blasio was given no prior notice.
When Mr. Cuomo decided to shut down the subway system last month in anticipation of a snowstorm, Mr. de Blasio was not informed before it happened. But Mr. Cuomo dismissed the public hand-wringing over his lack of communication.
“You wind up in situations where you don’t have the luxury of extensive communication at times. The decision to close the subways, you get a weather report, the MTA calls up and says, ‘We have to act now, if we don’t get the trains in we’re gonna get snowed out,’ so sometimes you don’t have all of the time to have these conversations,” Mr. Cuomo said.
“Now reporters like take little snibbets and little staff comments back forth–he’s got one job, I got another and we don’t always agree,” he added.