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What we need now: A governor of New York

Jamie Stiehm on

When the nation plunged deep into despair and crisis, the governor of New York rose out of ashes and gave the American people a reason to hope for the future.

Something in the man's distinctive voice, not just words he spoke, consoled to the core. He gave no false comfort. Looking hard times in the face, he discussed ways to conquer them: strategies, numbers and facts that somehow strengthened us. He seemed to speak straight to you.

You know who. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is an Easter sunrise to a country missing spring things.

The grave pandemic upon us is killing private dreams, shared spaces and public rituals, at least for now. We're held captive to the coronavirus and the president's poor preparedness with hacks and quacks. The best of New York, Cuomo, upstaged the worst, President Donald Trump, showing what commanding leadership looks like.

By contrast, Cuomo emerged as true presidential timber, the right man for right now. And, in good news, he's only 62. Aged Joe Biden, 77, is sidelined and silent in times that try our souls -- robbing bank accounts and jobs by the millions.

Yesterday's man should step down and clear the way for tomorrow's (not Sen. Bernie Sanders) amid failures of epic proportions -- medical and political. That would be a public service full of grace.

 

There's presidential precedent for this. Indeed, Cuomo evokes a grand ghost, singing of happier days: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, once Democratic governor of New York. In the Depression's darkest days, the governor was elected president in 1932.

I love when history rhymes.

Flying in the eye of a storm's pain, panic and suffering, Cuomo wins hungry hearts and minds, crossing borders in conversational daily briefings. Now is not the time to play Frisbee with your friends, he says. The New York Times calls him a "touchstone."

Cuomo is building field hospitals in Central Park and a cathedral. He summoned a Navy medical ship sailing in by the Statue of Liberty. He respects the ravaging respiratory disease. In sardonic style, he asked if the federal government wants a "pat on the back" for shipping some ventilators.

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Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
 

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