Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo died in his home Thursday at the age of 82, NBC News confirms.... "An Italian Catholic kid from Queens, born to immigrant parents, Mario paired his faith in God and faith in America to live a life of public service – and we are all better for it," President Obama said in a statement released Thursday. Obama called Andrew Cuomo Thursday to extend his condolences, according to White House spokesman Eric Schultz. [...] Known to many as "Hamlet on the Hudson" for his seemingly constant deliberation over whether to run for U.S. president -- which he never did -- Mario Cuomo served as the Democratic governor of New York from 1983 until 1994. A noted orator, Cuomo delivered the keynote address at the 1984 Democratic National Convention, overshadowing the presidential nominee, Walter Mondale, and marking a high-point in Cuomo's political career.
When we think of American political giants, too often we think of presidents and presidential candidates. But once in a while, the label belongs to a governor who considered national office, though he never took the leap.
Those of you who know me personally may remember that Cuomo's 1984 speech in San Francisco helped spark my lifelong interest in politics. I was 11, but I watched the convention with my Dad and I was so struck by the governor's remarks -- and the reaction to his eloquence -- that I became more politically aware and engaged from that point forward.
MSNBC has more on Cuomo's passing, including a gem from Steve Kornacki on what likely would have happened if the New York Democrat had run for president.
As for Cuomo's 1984 speech, for those of you who haven't seen it, this is well worth your time: