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Remembering Mario Cuomo

The North Jersey Record, January 2, 2015

Regarding "Liberal voice for N.Y., nation" (Page A-1, Jan. 2):

In the late 1980s, I was a reporter for a local weekly newspaper covering a political fundraiser in Bergen County. New York Gov. Mario Cuomo was the keynote speaker.

As he was leaving, I had a chance to speak with him briefly. I asked him a few questions. He answered all of them and then asked me my name. He was gracious, patient and told me that I asked good questions. Quite a compliment for a young reporter coming from "Hamlet on the Hudson."

When I got home I couldn't wait to share my experience with my father and grandfather, both huge Cuomo fans. To both of them Cuomo wasn't just the governor of New York and a rising star in the Democratic Party, he was a source of pride regarding their Italian heritage.

They were proud because of his eloquence and intellect. He represented an Italian-American persona that wasn't depicted very much in the mainstream media. My father used to say that if Cuomo ever became president, he would be our John Kennedy.

Even one of my Republican uncles who didn't agree with Cuomo on anything, used to say: "I hope that he runs for president."

Over the next few days, you'll read a myriad of opinions about Cuomo's legacy: good and bad. Whether you agreed with Cuomo's progressive philosophy or not, there's no denying his impact on the American political stage.

Anthony Vecchione
Italic Institute of America

 
 

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