NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mario Cuomo‘s legacy as a powerful orator, three-term governor and immigrant’s son whose humble upbringing in Queens inspired his approach to public service were championed at his funeral Tuesday by an inarguable heir to his politics — Gov. Andrew Cuomo, his son.
“At his core, he was a philosopher. He was a poet. He was an advocate. He was a crusader. Mario Cuomo was the keynote speaker for our better angels,” the younger Cuomo said in a eulogy that spanned from his father’s biggest speeches to his fierce competitiveness on the basketball court.READ MORE: Man Sets Fire To Christmas Tree Outside News Building In Midtown
The former governor — who flirted with but never made a presidential run and turned down an opportunity to be nominated for a U.S. Supreme Court seat — was a leader whose politics were part-and-parcel of his beliefs, not strategies for pleasing people, the younger Cuomo said.
“He was not interested in pleasing the audience, not in his speech, not in life,” the governor said. “He believed what he believed, and the reaction of the audience or the powers that be or the popularity of his belief was irrelevant to him. Mario Cuomo was at peace with who he was and how he saw the world. This gave him a great strength and made him anything but a typical politician.
“Mario Cuomo was a tenacious, competitive, extremely strong man. He was impatient with the bureaucracy, unrelenting in the face of bigotry, uncompromising in remedying injustice.”