Hard as this might be to believe a lot of young people don't even remember who Mario Cuomo was.
Don't get me wrong a lot of them know the name and in New York, they know his son Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Many more know Bill Clinton, and of course, his wife, Hillary Clinton.
But if you think about it had it not been for Mario Cuomo, there might never have been a President Bill Clinton. Or a presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
For those of us old enough to remember, it was Cuomo's tortured decision ultimately not to run for president that cleared the field for a lesser known governor to run for president.
Perhaps back in 1992, Cuomo felt George Bush, Senior was unbeatable, so why bother.
Bill Clinton bothered. And today, Bill Clinton remembered saying of the man who helped pave the way for him that Mario Cuomo's life "was the very embodiment of the American dream."
If true, it was a tortured dream not that there was anything tortured or tragic about being a three-term governor of New York, but that the man the media chided as "Hamlet on the Hudson," just couldn't and wouldn't take his gifted oratorical skills to the next level.
Pity, because for many Democrats, Cuomo was their Ronald Reagan.
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Mari Cuomo in 1992: "Mr. President, you ought to know that this nation is more a "Tale of Two Cities" than it is just a shining city on a hill."
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Politico columnist Todd Purdum properly called Cuomo the poet laureate of American liberalism.
Few argued the left's case better then, without any of the left's condescending manner today. And he did it with something else in short supply in both parties.
I always got the impression Cuomo was out of step with his times maybe even these times the anger and all the vitriol.
Politico's Purdum recounts how it was Cuomo who couldn't come to grips with the harshness of Washington.
How Cuomo himself wrote that, "the nation needs less anger and more thoughtful reflection, less shouting and more listening, less dissembling and more honesty."
Maybe that's why Hamlet had it.
Whether you like him or not he just said the hell with it.
And that's all there was to it.
No mystery. Just Mario.
Mario Cuomo dead at 82.