Who's up and who's down this week?
This week’s state Republican and Democratic conventions showed the difference in substance and style, and both were represented in our Winners & Losers list.
This week’s state Republican and Democratic conventions showed the difference in substance and style. Republicans got steak sandwiches and a half-empty room, while a teeming horde of Democrats elbowed their way to the front of the concessions stand. But ravenous Dems weren't the only unlucky ones on Wednesday. It was the Cuomo Show at the Democratic convention, but while primary challenger Cynthia Nixon only received 5 percent of the convention vote, she did at least win the battle for best-dressed.
Andrew Cuomo -
It’s Cuomo’s party, so Democrats do what he wants to. The governor won 95 percent of the convention vote, leaving primary challenger Cynthia Nixon in the dust. He also got several big names to show up to endorse him, from Hillary Clinton to Joe Biden. His candidate of choice, Letitia James, was designated for the position of attorney general, and he got to bask in the adoration of a huge crowd shouting “four more years.” Cuomo’s biggest victory, however, is that he remains at No. 1 on the City & State Albany Power 100 list.
Letitia James -
When backers first asked her about running for attorney general, she was like, “No, no, no, no, no,” as James told Cosmo. But the public advocate soon dropped her mayoral dreams and then picked up the Democratic nomination for AG in a near-unanimous vote. She enters the race in a dominant position, having scared off a long list of big name pols interested in the job. Plus, she’s already endorsed by Cuomo, Heastie, a bunch of unions and Luigi, her local pizza guy.
Peter King -
King is positively tickled by the president’s attention, so it must have been tough for the Long Island congressman to preserve his usual scowl while he got to hang out with Trump all day. King has a good relationship with his fellow Queens-born politician, and he was the driving force behind Trump’s second trip to the Island to talk about its gang problem. Best of all, King got an endorsement in the heart of Trump Country.
Marc Molinaro -
Forget Cuomo’s measly 95 percent of his party’s convention vote. Molinaro won 100 percent of the vote from county party chairs, securing his place the GOP nominee for governor. Sure, his only other competition dropped out before the convention, but a perfect score is a perfect score. It’s too bad those results won’t be replicated in the general election, which he is widely expected to lose.
Barbara Underwood -
This 73-year-old veteran litigator broke the glass ceiling to the Office of the Attorney General, becoming the first woman to be AG. She’s highly qualified, but she sure didn’t ask for it. Eric Schneiderman resigned suddenly amid physical abuse allegations, leaving Underwood in charge with her team of badass lady lawyers. Barbara gets the top dog legal job and will stay above the fray. She’s not interested in playing electoral politics – promising only to hold the position until the election – but she does promise to keep sticking it to The Donald.
Sergio Garcia -
What is it about people who have already risen to positions of power feeling the need to further embellish their achievements and experiences? Shouldn’t serving as senior vice president and chief of staff at SUNY Upstate Medical University be enough on its own? Not so for Garcia, whose dubious claims – being in the White House on 9/11, getting interviewed by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, surviving a bombing in Afghanistan – didn’t get past the Times Union. And within days, he resigned.
Sandra Lee -
The Food Network star offers Gov. Andrew Cuomo certain advantages: a home in Westchester, some extra star power as he takes on actress Cynthia Nixon, and a partner who understands what it’s like to live in the limelight. So it was striking that she didn’t even show up on his 2018 campaign website … and that after the Post reported it, a photo with her was added but no mention of her otherwise. To some degree it’s personal business, but scrutiny of their relationship will only intensify if Cuomo runs for president in 2020.
Joe Lhota -
Andy Byford has a great new plan to fix the subways, but at what cost? And out of whose pocket? Lhota certainly doesn’t want to talk about either of those. To be fair, Byford’s plan could be the turning point New York City commuters badly need. But what clearly is a loss for Lhota this week is The New York Times’ deep dive into his apparent conflicts of interest. We just wish we had the old Joe Lhota back.
Zephyr Teachout -
She was snubbed by the Working Families Party in 2014 when the party backed Cuomo over her for governor. Ever loyal, Teachout returned again this year only to be snubbed when the party chose not to support her attorney general bid. Rather than supporting Teachout outright when the WFP was shunned by Letitia James, the third party plugged in a placeholder so they have the option of backing James after the September Democratic primary – while trying to sell the decision as backing two women who are both just so great.
Donald Trump -
This week might have Donald the “Dotard” singing: “Nooo Rocket Man! Burning up your nuclear test site all alone ….” Trump angrily pulled out of planned peace talks with North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un, casting doubt on the president’s chances for forging a real peace on the Korean Peninsula. It’s not a great week to be Twitterer-in-Chief, either, now that he can’t block people on his favorite public platform anymore.
NEXT STORY: Out of power