It was 2004 and no one was paying much attention to the star of the just completed Democratic Convention in Boston.
Then State Senator Barack Obama was coasting to a win over the substitute Republican candidate in Illinois, Alan Keyes. Because the dynamic young orator from the Land of Lincoln could not be stopped, no effort was made to push for clarity on his positions or to expose his deep ideological leftism or to dig into his record or his ambitions.
Republicans and many independents now regret that free pass given the president a moment where clarity as to his ambitions and agenda might have been available. No one could imagine he’d thrust to the White House in a mere four years.
The sequel to Free Ride for Favored Democrats is playing on screens across New York now, and Andrew Cuomo is the beneficiary.
This morning, though, the New York Times provided its obligatory light slap on the wrist, an attempted immunization against the charge that, after foisting Eliot Spitzer and thus David Paterson on the state, the “paper of record” is again refusing to hold a Democratic nominee to their record or to expose their character. To get to what ought to have been the lede you have to read through a few paragraphs praising Cuomo’s tenure as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under Bill Clinton, but then you get to this:
[W]hen presented with chances to throttle back on the exploding subprime market, guard against predatory lending and reel in mortgage brokers and lenders, Mr. Cuomo several times faltered and backed down, interviews and records show.
He did not heed local officials and others who wanted him to make Fannie and Freddie publicly report details about the loans they bought.
And he chose not to impose penalties and other deterrents to ensure that the giant public banks did not promote dangerous lending.
He also reversed himself, under heavy lobbying pressure from mortgage brokers and bankers, on the arcane but costly mortgage-broker payments known as yield spread premiums. These were lucrative bounties that banks paid to brokers who found new clients; the unwitting borrowers paid higher-than-market interest rates as a result.
Yield spread premiums fueled the subprime frenzy, according to official post-mortems on the crisis.
Andrew Cuomo, along with Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, inflated the bubble that broke in the fall of 2008 with such dire consequences for the U.S. and the world.
He shouldn’t be elected an assemblyman in the Empire State much less its governor.
He shouldn’t have a future in politics, but instead MSM is clearing his way to Albany and an eventual run for the White House as early as 2016.
Rick Lazio is doing his best to put Cuomo’s record front and center and to warn New Yorkers what they are getting if they don’t swing Lazio’s way. But as with Obama in 2004, the political media cannot be bothered with a story that isn’t, yet, a horse race, even if it should be.