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Mario Cuomo the Liberal Idealist

The New York Times, January 2, 2015

Democrats and Republicans alike mourn the death of an American giant, Mario M. Cuomo.

Mario Cuomo Though he missed his rendezvous with presidential destiny in 1992, the former New York governor's Ciceronian eloquence, principled progressivism and keen intellect made him a statesman for the ages.

In 1984, this son of Italian immigrants regaled the Democratic National Convention with a Lincolnesque keynote address that inspired millions around the world. Indeed, Mr. Cuomo's impassioned speech evoking a Dickensian "tale of two cities" presaged the income inequality that has become the bane of a nation.

And when it came to the nitty-gritty of politics, he observed: "You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose."

In reflecting on Mr. Cuomo's wonderful life, I was struck by how much his philosophy of governance echoed that of Marcus Aurelius: "Have I done something for the general interest? Well then, I have had my reward. Let this always be present to thy mind, and never stop doing such good."

ROSARIO A. IACONIS
Chairman
Italic Institute of America
Mineola, N.Y.

 
 
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