Monday, October 11, 2010
Andrew Cuomo, Rev. Al Sharpton engage in delicate dance with one another
here's a thaw in the icy freeze that's kept gubernatorial front-runner Andrew Cuomo and the Rev. Al Sharpton at odds.
The two Dems have been sparring for months over the lack of diversity on the statewide ticket - as well as Sharpton's belief that Cuomo hasn't been sufficiently strong in his denunciation of the racist emails and anti-Semitic statements of his Republican opponent, Carl Paladino.
Sharpton has pointedly refused to endorse Cuomo. He even skipped a summit of black leaders convened by Cuomo in Harlem in late September.
Cuomo, the state's attorney general, upped the tension Saturday by campaigning with Democratic legislative candidates in Suffolk County and Staten Island instead of attending Sharpton's birthday bash at his National Action Network in Harlem.
But Cuomo was quick to call Sharpton to wish him a happy 56th birthday yesterday after the Daily News inquired about their relationship. Sharpton's spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger confirmed the call, which she said was brief and "cordial." A Cuomo spokesman declined to comment.
Noerdlinger said Sharpton "vehemently urged" Cuomo to "personally attack" Paladino for his statements and emails.
Cuomo responded by telling Sharpton the two should "meet soon," according to Noerdlinger. She said Sharpton won't be "inclined to engage" in endorsement discussions until there are "specific commitments made toward diversity in [Cuomo's] administration."