After successfully avoiding each other for many, many maddened moons, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo were forced to gaze into each other's eyes and inhale the same air and even TOUCH each other—though they only did hand stuff, at least according to this haunting photo captured for the ages by the Associated Press. "HI HOW ARE YOU I AM GREAT I WANT TO KILL YOU," are just a few of the thousand bloodthirsty words told by this picture.
Both men were compelled to dine in close proximity last night at the Waldorf Astoria during the annual Al Smith memorial foundation dinner, where attendees paid $2,500-a-plate to feast on the awkward energy steaming off the Cuomo-de Blasio table. (And for charity.) It was likely the first time the two men had been this physically close to each other since June, when de Blasio went to Albany to have Cuomo snap towels at him in the locker room while bragging about how much he's benching.
"When you put them in the same room, it’s like one is speaking Mandarin, and one is speaking Cantonese,” Richard L. Brodsky, a former assemblyman, told the Times then. “You have two guys who have fundamentally different understandings of how power is wielded.”
Relations between de Blasio and Cuomo reached a nadir this summer, when, after Cuomo admitted to trashing de Blasio to reporters on background, de Blasio openly told NY1 that Cuomo "engaged in his own sense of strategies, his own political machinations and what we've often seen is if someone disagrees with him openly, some kind of revenge or vendetta follows."
Earlier this week, an unnamed Cuomo "insider" told the NY Post that Cuomo "just wants to fight with de Blasio... Priority Number One is being anti-Bill de Blasio." And Cuomo presumably got his fill last night—the Al Smith dinner is a quasi-roast, and the Zingers were flowing like champagne with arsenic floaters.
"It’s great to see Mayor de Blasio actually in New York City tonight,” former mayor Michael Bloomberg joked in his keynote speech. “To get him to show up, his staff told him that the dinner was in Iowa.” (The joke was already a tad dated—an Iowa presidential forum on the topic of income equality that was planned by de Blasio was cancelled yesterday.)
Bloomberg also quipped that "sitting between the governor and mayor for the next two hours might feel like 40 years of marriage," calling them "an incredibly close couple — like Cain and Abel, Hamilton and Burr, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. The mayor and the governor finish each other’s anonymous quotes." Firefighters and EMTs were immediately called to the scene to treat the sick burn victims.
Al Smith IV, the great grandson of Governor Al Smith, also sent Cuomo and de Blasio to the burn unit. "Cuomo is here because we told him Bill de Blasio wouldn’t be here,” Smith said, then mocked de Blasio's chronic tardiness, explaining that the mayor was only present "because we told him the dinner started at noon. The only place the mayor showed up early was the Brooklyn real estate market."
As it happens, de Blasio spoke at a Living Wage rally yesterday morning at the crack of 7! PROGRESS.