Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday since 1997.
All inaugural bands should learn to play "I've Gotta Be Me."
Newly elected executives just love to show how different they are from their predecessors.
Remember Spitzer's big outdoor inauguration? Cuomo will have a smaller, indoor ceremony - one that befits severe fiscal times.
Once in office, Spitzer instantly attacked rival players. Look for Cuomo to prod and plot before brawling.
Paterson drew fire for lack of commmand. Cuomo and company seem determined to ride herd on state agencies early on.
The public looks for some change of public conduct. To outsiders, George Pataki and Spitzer, elected back-to-back, were sharply dissimilar. And Paterson, picked to complement Spitzer, began with an image among lawmakers wholly at odds with his patron's.
"Everybody tries to distinguish themselves," said Albany-based political consultant Bruce Gyory. "It's not a matter of popularity or unpopularity. You look to carve your own niche. John F. Kennedy was coatless and hatless at his inaugural and gave a different speech than his predecessor Dwight D. Eisenhower - who was enormously popular."
Gyory believes Paterson, who took office in March 2008, becomes the greater point of contrast and departure for Cuomo.
He adds: "What's driving this is the fiscal burden he's facing - and his trying to maximize the bully pulpit messages about confronting Albany with a different governing mindset and paradigm."
One of Gov. Hugh Carey's most memorable lines came in 1975, when in his first state-of-the-state address he declared, "The days of wine and roses are over."
Given today's numbers, the days of free coffee refills may soon be over too. Watch for time-worn budgeting methods to be challenged.
FRINGE FIGURES: Certified election results show the Libertarian Party, with Warren Redlich for governor, fell just shy of 50,000 votes needed for automatic ballot status, with 48,386. Carl Paladino's Taxpayers line got a mere 24,572. Flamboyant Paladino guru Roger Stone's other, competing client, Kristin Davis, drew 20,429 - half of Rent Is 2 Damn High Party Jimmy McMillan's tally. Minor parties that made the cut: Conservative (232,264), Working Families (154,847), Independence (146,646) and Green (59,928).