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Grudge Match

While campaigning for the governorship against George Pataki, Andrew Cuomo, a "human bulldozer" famed for his ambition and arrogance, boldly declared that Pataki, widely credited for his performance after the attacks on the World Trade Center, had in fact done little more than hold the coat of New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Some time later, Norman Adler, a longtime union organizer and political consultant, got a call from Andrew for the first time since they acrimoniously parted after working together during Mario Cuomo's first gubernatorial campaign in 1982:

"He called me one morning," Adler explained. "He said, 'Don't you know who this is?' I said no. He said: 'You don't recognize my voice? You were my mentor.' I said no. He said: 'It's Andrew! Do you still hate me?'

"I think he was trying to get me into some sort of middle ground where I wouldn't spend the next year trying to savage him," Adler continued. "I said, 'Andrew, you're not important enough to hate for 20 years!'"

["Al Gore has told me twice that, you know, 'This guy is much better than you are,'" Mario Cuomo once remarked. "The second time I said, 'You know, Mr. Vice President, he's much better than you are, too.'"]

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