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Think Visual

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This profile of Andrew Cuomo has a bottom line you’d expect — to the extent there’s any chance of removing him from office, it’s because pretty much everybody hates him. But this is also instructive:

Last spring, when the coronavirus outbreak was surging in New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s daily briefings became appointment television for many, as he authoritatively ticked through the latest statistics on infections, hospital beds and deaths.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Cuomo was often obsessed with another set of numbers: his ratings. He would sometimes quiz aides as soon as he ended a broadcast about which networks carried him live and exactly when they cut away — data they were expected to have at their fingertips.

For an image-obsessed politician who has long devoured almost everything written about him, it was an intoxicating amount of attention as Mr. Cuomo transformed almost overnight into a national leader of the Democratic Party and a foil for President Donald J. Trump. “To the 59 million viewers who shared in these daily briefings,” Mr. Cuomo said on his 111th and final daily update, “thank you.”

Cuomo is as shallow as Trump himself, but the better comparison is Rudy 9/11 before mainlining Johnnie Walker Black finally destroyed 80% of his brain cells. Trump couldn’t even simulate competent governance to anyone not already in the tank for him. In the right context, Cuomo and Mayor Guiliani could provide a simulacrum of competent leadership. What none of them can provide is anything like the real thing.

Basically, 2021 is just a interlocking series of events that compel you to appreciate what Joe Biden brings to the table.

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