The New York Idea, by Mario Cuomo
For most of this century, New York State has been an incubator of nationally prominent liberal politicians. As liberalism has changed, so have the politicians: Senator Robert F. Kennedy did not have a lot in common with Governor Charles Evans Hughes, although each in his own day was a recognized leader in the “progressive” wing of his party. The latest in this series is Mario Cuomo, governor for twelve years and a national figure for ten. The governor is running for a fourth term, which, if he wins it, will surely be his last; so it is appropriate to consider how the state has fared under his stewardship, and how liberalism has profited from his advocacy.
The New York Idea, the governor’s fifth book, might seem like a good place to look for answers. Unfortunately, the book is a collage, assembled from bits of position papers and old speeches. The former are tedious. The latter are as battered and dented as pieces of furniture that have been through many moves.
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