Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Cuomo optimistic Obama will be better in tonight's debate

(Mike Groll/AP file photo)

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo says President Obama has a simple task in his debate tonight against Republican Mitt Romney: "Win."

Cuomo, who will attend the debate at Long Island’s Hofstra University to "cheer the president on," noted that the format – a town hall session – will be different than the one two weeks ago that Obama, according to polls, lost to Romney.

The Democratic governor, who is not one of the Obama surrogates the president has on the road around the country promoting his campaign, said he expects a solid showing from Obama tonight.

"To the extent that people felt he was not engaged or he wasn’t as expressive in the first debate, I’m sure he’s going to correct that in this debate," Cuomo told reporters today in comments that aren't necessarily in line with some of the Democratic spin about the first debate.

In his gubernatorial campaign two years ago, Cuomo would only agree to one debate that had to include several minor party candidates along with himself and Republican Carl Paladino.

Audio: Bob McCarthy talks politics on WBFO

Bob McCarthy, the News' political reporter, appeared on WBFO and AM970 this morning with Jay Moran.

They talked about various items in the political world, including the local Democratic party and tonight's presidential debate.

Listen to the whole segment here:

Download mp3

Obama acceptance speech moved indoors

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- President Obama's Thursday night acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention has been moved indoors because of the possibility of thunderstorms, convention organizers said today.

Originally scheduled for 74,000-seat Bank of America Stadium, the final night of the convention now will be held in Time Warner Cable Arena, the 21,000-seat venue that's the site of the first two days of the convention.

That means people who stood in lines sometimes stretching for a half-mile to get tickets will end up disappointed. But Steve Kerrigan, the chief executive officer, said the campaign would reach out to those ticket holders, with the president set to hold a conference call with them Thursday afternoon.

In addition, "we will work with the campaign to ensure that those unable to attend tomorrow's event will be invited to see the president between now and Election Day," Kerrigan said.

The National Weather Service said there is a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms Thursday afternoon, with that chance falling to 20 percent by the 10 p.m. hour when the president is set to speak.

Still, it has rained every evening in Charlotte since Saturday, and many delegates have openly fretted about getting drenched on the convention's last night.

Some Democrats also said they were worried about Republican hecklers in the larger venue, since tickets were given away to anyone who asked. Some also feared that no-shows on a rainy night could lead to lots of empty seats and an embarrassment for the president.

Republicans jumped on that last possibility. Kirsten Kukowski, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, told Associated Press that "questions about enthusiasm for the event" preceded the change in venue.

Convention organizers did not say how much the change in venue would cost.

-- Jerry Zremski


The Read: Political chatter from elsewhere

Each Saturday on the Politics Now blog, you'll find a list of stories that caught the eyes of The News' political reporters. Here's a sampling of what they were reading this week:

"'Moneyball' Godfather Bill James Tackles Politics In Super PAC Age," Sam Stein, Huffington Post. The "high priest of baseball number-crunching" has turned his attention to political campaign fundraising. 

"A Senate Primary Stuck in the Shadows," Thomas Kaplan, New York Times. A Republican primary for U.S. Senate later this month isn't drawing much attention. The winner faces Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

"Absent an actual Dream Act, Obama relaxes deportation requirements," Reid Pillifant, Capital New York. Before a speech to a major Latino group, President Obama changes immigration policy. It doesn't grant citizenship, but it defers deportation.

"Cuomo says final decisions on hydrofracking in New York remain undecided," Teri Weaver, the Post-Standard. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is weighing the desires of local communities when it comes to hydraulic fracturing. 

Photo gallery, Washington Post. In honor of Father's Day, historian Douglas Brinkley looks at presidential fathers - the good and the not so good. 


The Read: Political chatter from elsewhere

Each Saturday on the Politics Now blog, you'll find a list of stories that caught the eyes of The News' political reporters. Here's a sampling of what they were reading the last couple weeks:

"Sources: Cuomo tried to keep New York public labor heads off DNC delegate list,"  by Maggie Haberman, Politico. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not been shy in his battles with public employee unions. But for someone who will need labor’s support should he be serious about a 2016 national run, this story depicts a Democrat who does not play well in the sandbox with others.

The Legislative Correspondents Association show was held a couple weeks back –- an annual politician-mocking gig put on by some current and former reporters who cover the state Capitol. Politicians get their turn, too, and here is the video put together by Sen. Michael Gianaris, the Queens Democrat in charge of trying to take back the Senate from Republicans this fall. Most Senate Democrats may not be willing to publicly state their anger with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing a redistricting bill intended to help Republicans, but this video makes the point -– in rather not-so-subtle ways. Note: if you don’t want to hear a profanity, turn your sound down when former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato appears.

“White House visitor logs provide window into lobbying industry,” by T.W. Farnam, Washington Post. President Obama, more than any other president before him, vowed to “change the political culture that has fueled the influence of lobbyists,” Farnam writes. But access to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and senior administration officials is still clearly available.

"Republicans in NY: lame in lower house," by Ken Hall, Times Herald-Record. Buffalo developer Carl Paladino, as he is also doing in Western New York, is getting involved in a race for the State Legislature in Albany. Paladino is backing Colin Schmitt, one of two candidates "of the new GOP generation" seeking the 99th Assembly District seat.

The Read: Political chatter from elsewhere

Each Saturday on the Politics Now blog, you'll find a list of stories that caught the eyes of The News' political reporters. Here's a sampling of what they were reading this week:

"O'Malley builds on tax-raising legacy," by Annie Linskey, Baltimore Sun. It's no secret that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is keeping an eye on Maryland Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley as the two maneuver their national ambition machine. The two have taken different approaches on tax hikes. Cuomo had opposed them, but then OK'd a $2 billion tax hike on millionaires last December. O'Malley has not been shy about raising taxes -- something the liberal base of the Democratic Party, who dominate many presidential primary contests, do not abhor when the choice is between tax hikes or spending cuts. Here the Baltimore Sun looks at taxes and 2016.

"The politics of generating power — and winning it," by Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star. Cheap power generated at Niagara Falls has set off political battles on this side of the Canadian border, but politicians in Ontario have their own debates that swirl around the future of hydropower. Tim Hudak, a Fort Erie, Ont., native who started his career as a Peace Bridge customs officer, has floated a plan to sell off part of Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One to public pension funds. The proposal has gotten fierce reaction. "The latest Conservative plan to partially privatize Ontario's electrical utilities looks like a bigger publicity stunt than the Flying Wallenda's careful balancing act," writes Cohn, Queen's Park columnist for the paper.

"Romney, Obama campaign staffers debate an actual issue on Twitter," by Natalie Jennings, Washington Post. It's a political argument, no more than 140 characters at a time. Top aides to the former Massachusetts governor and the president "traded Twitter barbs" over jobs and the economy, Jennings writes.

The Read: Political chatter from elsewhere

Each Saturday on the Politics Now blog, you'll find a list of stories that caught the eyes of The News' political reporters. Here's a sampling of what they were reading this week:

"Obama sees a political charm in third visit," by Jimmy Vielkind, Albany Times-Union. Not once, not twice, but 24 times. That's how many times President Barack Obama has visited New York State since he's been in office, including his 2010 swing through Buffalo, Vielkind notes.

"For Obama and Cuomo, no bunny suits," by Larry Rulison, Albany Times-Union. Tyvek "bunny suits" were notably absent when President Barack Obama and Gov. Andrew Cuomo took a short tour of a clean room at a computer chip factor at Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering this week, Rulison notes in a piece that explains how the factory worked around the precaution.

Drilling Decisions – Cuomo’s green reputation hinges on hydrofracking decision,” by Jon Lentz, City & State. Even though the bar set by his predecessors isn’t very high, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s environmental legacy could come down to what the state does with regulating hydraulic fracturing, writes Lentz.

"Change is good; bureaucracy is not," by Glens Falls Post-Star. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's idea to create a new state agency to serve as a watchdog against abuse of disabled people under the state's care is already getting its rush of backing from legislators. But the Glens Falls Post-Star, seeming to recall campaign promises by Cuomo about shrinking the size of state government, calls for pause. 

Newer Entries »

About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri |

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski |