NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo covers a crushing political defeat followed by an ugly headline-grabbing tabloid divorce within a two-year span in his new warts-and-all biography, “All Things Possible.”
In an exclusive interview with CBS 2 political reporter Marcia Kramer, New York’s governor confessed that he was once so low he thought about writing a book on losing.
“I remember when I was in the midst of my low point I thought about doing a book on losing,” Cuomo told Kramer.
It was a surprising admission from a man with a reputation for success — from running the campaign where his underdog father, Mario, defeated Ed Koch to become governor, to becoming governor himself, Andrew Cuomo always tries to outgun the opposition.
Even now, in a re-election campaign where his ability to fight Albany corruption is in the forefront, he’s got a plan.
“It has gotten to the point where I think the people want a dramatic solution,” Cuomo said.
He said public campaign financing would be dramatic, but he’s also mulling the possibility of dropping the equivalent of an atom bomb on Albany — term limits for everyone, even governors.
“People think if you’re in the business too long, by definition it makes it easier for you to be corrupted. I’m not sold on the point, Marcia,” Cuomo said. “But it is something I would look at.”
Kramer then asked about current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Kramer: “You talk in the book about Bill de Blasio. How do you think he’s doing? Some people say he’s too close to Al Sharpton.”
Cuomo: “I think the criticism of Reverend Sharpton and his closeness is over-sensationalized. He is a voice who has helped in important times in this city.”
Since the governor’s new book is about the ups and downs in his life, Kramer asked about his most painful moment.
“The divorce,’ Cuomo said.
He was talking about his headline-grabbing divorce from Kerry Kennedy right after he had to drop out of the 2002 governor’s race.
“I had no doubt that my political career was over. My love life was over. I couldn’t even imagine going through it again, starting another relationship with another woman. Oh no, I thought it was the end, period,” Cuomo said.
But it wasn’t the end. He met television chef and author Sandra Lee, who may just be the yin to his yang.
Kramer: “You describe Sandra Lee as spontaneous and joyous. Is that what she’s taught you?’
Cuomo: “She has pushed me along the spectrum of spontaneity and joy, let’s put it that way. Part of my life is just too serious and too real to be spontaneous.”
The governor also has a sentimental side, convincing the owners of his grandfather’s former home to give him the stone castle he built. It’s now in his Westchester County yard, and when he sees it, “I’m thinking of my grandfather. I’m thinking of living the life of honor, living the life of integrity and leaving this place better than we found it. Andrea Cuomo did that. Mario Cuomo did that. Andrew Cuomo is trying to do that.”
And though his book was published Tuesday, the governor probably won’t be able to do a full-scale book tour for a while.
You see, there’s this little matter of the November election — and a guy named Rob Astorino, who wants his job.
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