Attorney General candidates Jeanine Pirro and Andrew Cuomo delivered a crazy, mean-spirited exchange in their first debate. And if it weren't so sad that these are our candidates, it would be funny. It was a little funny when Pirro mocked Cuomo's record as a "non-practicing lawyer" (14 months in the Manhattan DA's office over 20 years ago) and his record as the secretary of HUD under President Clinton, saying, "Your running for attorney general is like my running for Joe Torre's position [as Yankees manager] because I played softball 21 years ago." Ha - but Cuomo didn't hold back, telling the audience, "Just so we're clear, there is a candidate who is being accused of criminal wrongdoing and is under investigation by a number of law-enforcement agencies and had their ethics questioned - that's not me, however. SNAP!
While Pirro punched at Cuomo's record and experience, Cuomo brought up the wrongful conviction of Jeffrey Deskovic. Deskovic was recently freed after wrongfully serving 16 years for rape and murder, and it turns out he made many pleas to Pirro's Westchester DA's office for retesting of the evidence. Pirro put the blame on her predecessors and successors, but Cuomo said her office did ignore Deskovic's letter. Which gave Pirro an opportunity to ask if Cuomo had the letter ("Do you have it? Do you have the letter? Do you have the letter?" ), which he didn't. You can watch the whole grisly debate on WABC's website here.
Even the Post called it "Grime Time" and found Democrat Cuomo the winner of the debate by not getting as dirty as Pirro. The NY Times made this comment, "If Ms. Pirro’s verbal dexterity and camera-ready gesturing came across clearly in the debate, she was also relentlessly negative — a risk, given that a sizable fraction of voters have mixed or no opinions about her, according to polls."
You can also read New York magazine's Jeanine and Al Pirro feature online (summary: Their marriage is a hot mess). And when asked about the article, where Al says Jeanine's political ambitions have hurt him and their family in different ways, Pirro said, "I think New Yorkers are tired of hearing about my personal life." Au contraire, Jeanine!