Politics At Last: A No-Go From Mario

Why the New York Governor toyed with Democratic hopes and G.O.P. fears for 10 tortured weeks, then finally rode off with an emphatic Fuhgedaboudit!

What happened? He had communed with himself for 70 days, exposing his innermost calculations in near hourly briefings to anyone who cared. He had authorized the gathering of troops and moneymen. He had signed the legal papers and glowed as expectations soared. Everything and everyone was ready. And then, at the eleventh hour, with political junkies and hopeful Democrats in a state of emotional exhaustion, Mario Cuomo said, "Nah, not this time either."

Such as it was, the Governor's thinking had less to do with politics than with his self-image, with his concern that a giant poised to lead a crusade...

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