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Waiting For Cuomo BY LOUIS DUBOSE San Antonio ONE RESULT of Jesse Jackson’s success on Super Tuesday, according to an Austin political consultant working on another Pre _sidential campaign, might be a brokered convention or preconvention. The scenario suggested there would be no clear winner emerging from the March 8 primary. Rather than concede too much to Jackson at the convention, party leaders look toward New York Governor Mario Cuomo for help, perhaps seeing in him the solution to the Democratic dilemma. As unlikely a scenario as this is considering Michael Dukakis’s showing on Super Tuesday, and that it would circumvent the entire primary process some are still holding out for a Cuomo candidacy. And Cuomo is out there, driving the Paul Kirks of the world toward madness by refusing to take Sherman’s pledge \(“If drafted I will Cuomo also seems to derive some small satisfaction from sending out occasional cryptic signals that he might still consider himself a candidate. In San Antonio, where Cuomo defined his own “pragmatic progressivism” for an audience of several thousand at Trinity University, the question was again asked of the New York Governor. The two questions are in italics. Gov . Cuomo’s response is not edited. Cuomo often had to contend with vigorous applause when his candidacy was suggested: Assume, if you will, a brokered Democratic convention. I think that you can see where this is going. The leaders of the Democratic Party tell you that the nomination is yours if you’re willing to accept it. And they further tell you that they feel that the only way to unify the Democratic party in the 1988 race is if you accept the nomination. Will you accept the nomination for President? Wait, wait, wait. Please. You didn’t hear my answer. First thing I do is fire those leaders of the Democratic Party. Please, hear me. Their judgement is poor if they say that. First of all you said: “Assume if you will a brokered convention.” I don’t want to. No Democrat should; you shouldn’t entertain discussion of it. Because to discuss a brokered convention is to suggest, implicitly but necessarily, that nobody is going to come out of this pack with such a strong consensus going into the convention that he would be the unanimous choice. That’s very bad for Democrats. Just entertaining the notion of a brokered convention does a disservice to the Democrats. Republicans should be entertaining LOUIS DUBOSE Gov. Mario Cuomo Will you accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for President? talk of a brokered convention, among the Democrats. Now, that’s number one. Number two, I believe and I’ve believed this from the beginning that this was the best field I have ever seen assembled, of Democratic candidates. I believe that. I said it last year. And I said, the more you see them, the better they will get, the stronger they will get. And they are. They talked about alternative candidacies last year: Nunn, Bradley, Cuomo. Some other names were mentioned. Why? Why these three people? Were we better than Dukakis, Babbitt, Biden, Hart? I don’t think so. Let me tell you. Please, hear me out. Because you never get a chance to give the full answer and I’m delighted at this opportunity. Not that it will ever get reported this way. But anyway. The difference was that we were known. Bill Bradley was a celebrity before he ever ran for the Senate. He was well known, he had star quality when he became a Senator. You ask the people who say: “Bill Bradley’s terrific, is he not?” Yes indeed. Give me his position on contra aid. Give me his position on Third World debt. Is he for a tax increase or not? I will tell you that most people don’t know. But still they know he’s a star. Okay. Sam Nunn, Sam Nunn’s terrific; very well known because he got involved in defense. He’s one of my favorite Senators. Sam Nunn is one of my favorite Senators. So is Bill Bradley, incidentally. I asked Bill to run for President in 1983 and did a fundraiser for him a year ago. He’s one of my favorites. Nunn too. But Nunn was well-known. Now, Mario Cuomo: the keynote and Notre Dame. You heard Dr. Calgaard mention them both. Now I see 79 million people saw the keynote in 1984. The only difference between me and these people [the Democratic candidates] is that I got publicity they didn’t get. They had all the competence we had and maybe more. All the integrity, certainly that we had. All the experience that we had. They had demonstrated charisma enough for Mike Dukakis to set records in Massachusetts in his victory. Enough for Bruce Babbitt to win twice in Arizona where they’re all Republicans and do exceptionally well. Enough for Paul Simon to beat Percy. They all did very well. Look, Gary Hart had a problem. But before that problem, there is no denying his capacity, his competence. So I say this has always been a great field. And then if you want to extend it a little bit more and say “but I see no passion in the candidates. I see no charisma.” What charisma? What a bunch of baloney! Think about it. Lincoln, did he have charisma? Read Lincoln debating Douglas. Talk about dwarfs, Stephen Douglas was about like this. They said he [Lincoln] was a baboon, he was ugly, his marriage was a failure, he was bankrupt. He lost five races. And he became President. Was he heralded as a great charismatic leader? No, of course not. Was Roosevelt? Hardly. Roosevelt, in 1932, was mocked. He was Governor in my state in March of the election year, gave one speech between then and the convention, just barely made it with political manipulation at the convention, and then eeked past the Republican. Nobody ever said Roosevelt was a great leader. Kennedy had one debate with Nixon. Quemoy and Matsu was the only difference. One guy had a beard. The other guy had a full head of red hair, went to West Virginia and said ‘I’m a Catholic’ and they made him President. They all became great, passionate, charismatic leaders after they were elected. And that’s going to happen again. Governor Cuomo, is that a yes or a no? Yes it is. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11