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Governor Cuomo's girlfriend, Sandra Lee, can dish it out -- and she can take it

110103_andrew_cuomo_sandra_lee_ap_283_regular[1]Most celebrity interviews are a little boring, a shade predictable.  The questions are safe and the answers are pre-packaged. 

An entertaining exception to that rule appeared in last Sunday's New York Times magazine when Andrew Goldman quizzed Sandra Lee.  She is a  cooking-and-home personality, known best for her role on the Food Network, and the domestic partner of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2016.  (The two are shown here in an AP photo from January of last year.)

 The whole interview is well worth a read -- Lee is feisty, to say the least, and the discussion of her infamous Kwanzaa cake is priceless.  Here's the link.

One of the highlights of the Q&A went like this:

Goldman: "People without spouses don't get elected president anymore. When are you two getting married?"

Lee: "That's a loaded question.  Andrew is focused on being governor.  He's not running for president.  We're happy in the relationship the way it is.  Still, I can tell you that Andrew's kids want us to get married.  It's very sweet."

The exchange reminded me of Cuomo's visit to The Buffalo News editorial board in the fall of 2010, as he ran for governor and was seeking The News' endorsement.  (The News did endorse Democrat Cuomo over Republican candidate and Buffalo developer Carl Paladino.)

After the formal interview with The News was over, the head of our investigative reporting team, Susan Schulman, popped one more question.

  "I'm just wondering," she recalls saying, "when are you two planning to get married?"  She couched it as a question asked, in part, as the mother of teenage daughters who was concerned about political figures as role models.

Cuomo appeared startled by the question, called it frivolous, and refused to answer it. 

"He definitely seemed offended," Schulman recalled today when I reminded her about it.  "But I still think it was a legitimate and important question, and I'm glad I asked.  What kind of message does it send to kids? I still want to know."

Twitter: @SulliView

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