Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo: Frenemies Forever

The New York Times goes deep on the testy relationship between the mayor and the governor.

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A list of selected verbs used in the first four paragraphs of The New York Times' frontpage takeout on the testy relationship between New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg:






Yeah, it's one of those relationships.

Though almost no one wants to go on the record to talk about it, The Times says the mutual aggravation of the Bloomberg and Cuomo camps is something of an open secret. The two men each harbor disdain for the other, and it tends to burble up, in true frenemy fashion, on the issues where each would like to lead. Reform of taxi policies. Gay rights.

And they simply have different styles.

Mr. Cuomo, a Baryshnikov of political footwork, does not shy away from back-room deals and intimidating lawmakers. But Mr. Bloomberg believes that for Mr. Cuomo, “it’s not the merits, it’s just about the politics,” said an official who has spoken with Mr. Bloomberg about the governor.

Mr. Cuomo, meanwhile, views the mayor as haughty and ham-handed in his approach to Albany, unfairly blaming the governor for his own longtime difficulties in the State Capitol. Mr. Bloomberg, the governor believes, expected Mr. Cuomo and lawmakers to sign off on his measures without regard to the political consequences, and then sent aides to disparage him to the news media when things did not go his way.

The two men have spent "little time together," The Times writes, and though they have often agreed in general on some policy matters, they are frequently forced to deny the extent of their disagreements. Like, for instance, this weekend, as Bloomberg insisted, according to the New York Post, that he wasn't fighting with Cuomo over plans to sell the state's health insurance carrier. Then, in the next breath, he reminded Cuomo who was boss in that deal: "Nobody is going to buy Emblem unless they talk to the city."

The mayor was even more sour on the governor's tax plans, which included a move to adjust the income tax rates on the highest income earners. Not that they were going to talk it out over coffee. "I've not talked to him about it," Bloomberg said.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.