Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 3:53 p.m.
New Governor Andrew Cuomo just wrapped up his inaugural State of the State address. Did you miss it? There was a lot of folksy humor and clapping and quasi-inspirational stuff about working together, and trying to make Albany function, and serving the people of New York instead of "special interests" and all of that other fun political rhetoric that always gives people a vague glimmer of hope at the beginning of the year before getting drowned out with bureaucracy, pandering, and legislators' childish antics. Find out what you missed after the jump.
Lots of Power Points! Cuomo supplemented his speech with a PowerPoint presentation. Via the New York Times' live blog:
And now for Mr. Cuomo's "Internet-age technology," otherwise known as Power Point, which is familiar to most of the drudges of corporate and military America.
There is some quiet giggling among the lawmakers over the Power Point.
Cuomo later had a budget-related slide of "ships passing in the night," which depicted two battleships led by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, torpedoing another battleship led by Cuomo with animated missiles he called "special interests."
Several charts later, another slide with a New York State license plate features a joke for the Star Wars fans: "Empire State Strikes Back." Gotta get that nerd vote.
No Numbers! Why sour the mood by bogging it down with specifics? Cuomo said a lot of vague stuff about improving government efficiency, saving money, reducing the state's budget, and how New York can do it because, duh, we're New Yorkers, but made little reference to specific figures or amounts. Oh well. When you're dealing with a "national punchline" like New York state governance (as Cuomo phrased it), perhaps it's better not to back oneself into a corner.
"Something for Everyone:" Cuomo did offer a few, as the Times calls it, "hunks of red meat," for people on both sides of the political aisle. He lambasted the state's spending and high property taxes, and outlined a serious of social justice initiatives (including reorganizing the state's juvenile detention system, getting more locally-grown food into urban areas, and legalizing same-sex marriage).
Wakka, Wakka, Wakka. The whole speech, as expected, was peppered with corny jokes. The highlight was butchering his own name while telling a story about how people in Kansas pronounced "Cuomo" when he was the U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development under Clinton. "Ku-ku-mow" does have a nice ring to it, though.