NY POST By Bob McManus October 19, 2014 | 12:00am
Photo: Post Photo Illustration
Watch out for the Day-Care Duo.
In Albany, there is Andrew — engaging and gracious when he gets his way; surly, suspicious and menacing when he doesn’t.
At City Hall, there is Bill — also quick with a smile, yet pigheaded, quick to anger and sadly slow to learn.
You know. Just like the “Peck’s Bad Boy” types down at the pre-school — the kids always parked in the time-out room.
So this is a tale of two childlike chief executives — elected to look after the best interests of millions of New Yorkers, yet unable to keep their own tempers, their own promises or even their own schedules.
Consider Gov. Cuomo.
With apologies to Longfellow, he’s a lot like the little girl with the curl: When he is good, he is very, very good; but when he is bad, he is scary.
Like last January, when a hyper-animated Cuomo expelled millions of New Yorkers from the political process — indeed, from their own state — merely for having disagreed with him:
“[Who are] these extreme conservatives, who are right to life, pro assault weapon, anti-gay, is that who they are? Because if that is who they are . . . they have no place in the state of New York,” he stormed.
So bye-bye practicing, pro-life Catholics, Orthodox Jews who oppose gay marriage on principle and all those folks who believe that the Second Amendment to the Constitution was meant to be more than filler between the First and the Third.
Adults discuss their differences; alas, there is no room for dissent in the Cuomo sandbox.
Or even for impertinent questions.
In February, reports Capital New York, a torqued Cuomo stomped out of a private restaurant dinner with New York Times staffers — a venial sin, on its face, except that it neatly illustrates why intimates confess reluctance to put the governor in unscripted situations.
Such as unsupervised television interviews. Which is why staffers last week cancelled a sitdown in Rochester when reporters refused to limit questions to Cuomo’s new book. Poke Prince Andrew, and who knows what could happen. The facade might collapse.
Then there is the artful deceit.
Cuomo long ago mastered the injured-innocent look; he radiates total surprise that anyone would be even a little dismayed, say, by his bait-and-switch approach to economic development.
(Remember fracking? Turns out the joke was on upstate.)
Just as he wonders why anybody would have thought he was serious last spring when he promised to campaign hard for a Democratic state Senate in return for the backing of the Working Families Party. “I won the endorsement. And that’s what’s really relevant,” he said afterward. And he has scarcely lifted a finger for Senate Democrats since.
“I am the government,” Cuomo once announced.
He meant it.
And then there is Mayor de Blasio — so unfocused and self-absorbed that it’s news when he shows up anywhere on time; so unsure of his message that he can speak only in superlatives, and so eager to please the authority figures in his life that he can scarcely say no to anyone.
For the mayor, there are no plain-vanilla policies. They are all “transcendent!” That is, when they are not “transformative!” Or profound!” Or “momentous!” Or maybe even, “most-bestest!” (Well, not yet. But soon!)
Meanwhile, his press releases are pamphlets — chock-a-block with praise for the mayor from politicians and the public alike.
It could be that de Blasio doesn’t quite get that most voters are adults, that they are patient and that don’t expect policy miracles in a new mayor’s first year or two.
Or maybe it’s that he just speaks in tongues.
A new NYPD training program meant to change the department “profoundly,” he said Thursday, includes “verbal judo [which] in effect means learning how to defuse a crisis first through dialogue before having to resort to physical means.”
Here’s a rough translation: “When the Rev. Al and I get done with this department, nobody’s going to recognize it.” Which would indeed be profound.
Sayonara, safe streets.
Of course, keeping Al Sharpton’s smile in place has been Job One since Day One for Bill de Blasio — but not only Sharpton. The mayor’s never-disappoint list also includes, but is not restricted to, the teachers union; his wife, Chirlane McCray; that storefront bishop in Brooklyn; the office-clerks union; the leaders of the now-substantially diminished, post-Cuomo Working Families Party — and, of course, Rachel Noerdlinger.
It’s not so much that he owes them all political favors, though he does. It’s that he seems to crave their approval as well — to the point where he has seriously, and needlessly, damaged his mayoralty
Take the still-bubbling Noerdlinger controversy. No need to parse details here; they’re well known. The nut is that Noerdlinger, chief of staff to McCray, exercised egregiously bad judgment, lied about it on official documents — and got away with it.
“Case closed,” thundered the mayor — channeling the toddler’s trick of becoming invisible by squeezing his eyes shut. The city just laughed.
Soon, though, the joke will be on all New York — which once was run by giants, never mind grown-ups.
Good times, long time passing.