Attorney General Andrew Cuomo wrapped up his campaign for governor in the polyglot borough where he grew up, summing up his campaign by repeating his belief in diversity as the key to the state of New York's strength and once again accusing Republican Carl Paladino of running a "divide and conquer" campaign that sought to play on wedge issues to garner votes.
"You're not going to divide us! You're not going to separate us!" Cuomo declared to a cheering crowd at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, after stops earlier in the day in Buffalo and Albany. "We remember Queens and the lesson of Queens and we also remember there is nothing we can't do!"
This is not exactly the old neighborhood for Cuomo,who grew up in more affluent Hollis, and there was no hollering crew of old neighbors gathered to root for him. with the exception of Assemb. David Weprin, who had known the attorney general since they were children when his father the late former Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin, was active along side Mario Cuomo in the National Conference of Christians and Jews.. The younger Weprin and Cuomo worked alongside one another as young men in political campaigns. He remembered Cuomo pumping gas a the station on the corner.
"Queens is the most diverse county maybe in the world," he said.
In addition to his running mate, Rochester Mayor Duffy, Cuomo appeared with, and urged everyone to vote for, attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman as well as two local members of Congress, Carolyn Maloney and Joseph Crowley. He made no mention of State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who was campaigning elsewhere.
Cuomo used this last rally to talk about his campaign's theme song, Bon Jovi's 'Work for the Working Man" and the hard working middle class values of Queens as the emblem of his campaign's ethos, noting that when, as HUD secretary, people in other states had asked him he had a New York accent he had proudly responded "No, that's a Queens accent!'
"People come here to realize the American Dream, and Queens says, you can do it and you can do it here!" he said. "We love the fact that we are diverse."