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Where’s Mario?

- December 5, 2008

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Mario Cuomo, a la Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, R. Crumb, and Piet Mondrian

Mario Cuomo certainly was one of the most interesting politicians, personality-wise, of the late twentieth century. He was a fairly prickly character who marched to the beat of his own drum. Now his disinclination to sit for an official portrait is causing some irritation in Albany, for he alone among the Empire State’s governors is MIA. Here are some excerpts from Danny Hakim’s recent piece in the New York Times.

bq. Fourteen years after leaving office, Mario M. Cuomo, elected three times and once the state’s most prominent political figure, is still refusing to sit for his official portrait.

bq. Tourists have asked about the absence of Mr. Cuomo’s likeness. Emissaries have been sent to try to convince the former governor of the importance of this tradition, but failed to move him. Even Mr. Cuomo’s son Andrew, the state attorney general, is said by people in government to have thrown up his hands when asked about it, although Andrew M. Cuomo would not comment for this article.

bq. The former governor, in an interview, suggested he found the whole idea pompous. He also said he had no patience for posing: “I went to electric razors so I would not have to look at myself in the morning.”

bq. Others, of course, see simply stubbornness, a quality they say they know well from Mr. Cuomo’s days as governor.

And here, if you’re interested, is the complete story.