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Are We Finally Done With Tough-Guy Politicians?

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His own daily televised coronavirus briefings became such an addiction — and to so many a balm — that the governor was awarded an Emmy, the chairman of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences explaining that, “People around the world tuned in to find out what was going on, and New York tough became a symbol of the determination to fight back.”

Gritty paternalism was the political brand Mr. Cuomo had been building his whole career, an image shrewdly forged in a blend of aggressive masculinity and performed compassion. Now he’d reached the apex. Even during Hurricane Sandy, polling put him ahead of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in terms of who was more successfully handling recovery. Mr. Cuomo was visible always in his bomber jacket, on site, in flooded tunnels, holding flash lights, looking as though he was going to come over and muck out your basement and then replace the sheet rock. By contrast, Mr. Bloomberg was often behind a…

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