Already, in his obituaries, he is being remembered more as a poet than as a politician, as a phenomenon more than a man. Poets are useful, even in politics. Phenomena can be beautiful. But the marginalization of Mario Cuomo was a deliberate political act, a bipartisan one, truth be told. It was a way to shuffle what he stood for off into decorous irrelevance. The people who sidelined Mario Cuomo from our national discussion did not include Ronald Reagan. It was Bill Clinton who did that and, sadly, Mario Cuomo himself, who, by the end of it, was so politically feeble that he lost to an unremarkable hack like George Pataki. Now Mario Cuomo is dead, and George Pataki is (seriously) contemplating a run for president of the United States. Now Mario Cuomo is dead, and his absence from our national discussion is being used in some quarters as a cautionary tale to the rising progressive movement within the Democratic party. The same forces that worked to marginalize him will be brought to bear at some point against Elizabeth Warren… You can count on that. Now Mario Cuomo is dead, and that seems like little more than confirmation of something we all suspected for decades.
Mario Cuomo, RIP