Thursday, December 6, 2012


And then there were two


Leaders that is.  The recent coalition, bipartisan, rotating leadership scenario has established one absolute fact.  There are two Leaders in New York State Government.


And no they are not Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein.


You wouldn’t know that from the joint press release they sent out announcing and celebrating the historic pact they entered into.  I counted the word leader over 10 times and the word partner and partnership almost as often.


Now I get that we are becoming a society where everyone has to be the leader, it’s like Little League where every kid is an all-star and everyone gets a trophy.


But true leadership does not derive from some negotiated agreement and a press release anointing yourself “leader”.


Skelos and Klein will last as “leaders” only as long as they can deliver 32 votes.  And like every other vote the real leader is the person with the power to deliver the deciding vote. 


So who is the real Leader of the New York State Senate?


For my money it’s the same guy that leads the executive branch.  Andrew Cuomo has once again proven to be New York’s greatest political Leader in a generation.


Andrew got elected to lead as governor but he has used his natural leadership skills to take over as Leader of the New York State Senate.  Don’t believe me? Pick any one of the issues he has laid out as a litmus test for the senate and tell me who else has the ability to put 32 votes together in favor of that issue. 


Let’s try it just for fun, who can get 32 votes for an increase in the minimum wage?


Can Skelos get 32 votes out of his conference?  Nope he’d be lucky to get 5.


Can Klein get 32 votes out of his conference? Nope he only has 5 as long as Malcom Smith stays in line.


Can Sampson get 32 votes for anything? Nope not even for a pay raise for legislators.


Can Andrew Cuomo get 32 votes?  I guess we will see this session but I wouldn’t want to bet against the “Leader”


Back to my original premise that there are two Leaders in New York State government.  If Andrew is one who is the other?


I don’t think anyone can argue that Sheldon Silver is the clear Leader of the Assembly. . . today.


Which is why JJOKE is in such turmoil right now (you knew I would figure out a way to work JJOKE into the debate).   Biben and JJOKE needed a positive vote to damage Speaker Silver at the last meeting, and they didn’t get it.  Just think what would happen if Shelly wasn’t leading the assembly tomorrow.


You see true leadership abhors a vacuum and will naturally fill it.


At this point Andrew is one step away from being what he clearly is meant to be.  New York governments only Leader.


Give credit where credit is due it’s a masterful performance.


And the only person who hasn’t delivered? Ellen Biben.  She could not deliver the JJOKE votes they were counting on.


Here’s something to consider Ellen, it was Dwight D Eisenhower that said “Pull the string and it will follow wherever you wish.  Push it and it will go nowhere at all”


That’s a basic leadership lesson that it appears you never learned while being pulled thru all your previous jobs.


I always thought that once you realized you were on the string you cut it and went wherever you thought was best, but hey I’m not any good at being led around.


How’s the view Ellen?


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