By Curtis Riboflavin
Published November 17th, 2014
ALBANY — The Cuomo administration is about to start a love fest.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo will launch a new agency called the “state Department of Love” as part of an orchestrated attempt to lead the nation toward tenderness, adulation and passion, according to people with knowledge of the plan.
If approved, the agency would also foster “good will toward men and women,” insiders said.
New York would become the first state to enact its own Love Department, an idea some government watchdog groups see as a clear sign the Democratic Cuomo —whose detractors call “a bully” — will run for president in 2016.
“Virginia is for lovers, but New York would be for love — period,” said one Albany insider who declined to give his name but pointed out he’s seen every episode of The West Wing. “It almost makes too much sense.”
The 56-year-old Cuomo was re-elected to a second-term on Election Day, winning 54 percent of the vote against Republican Rob Astorino, who finished with 40.6 percent and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, who won 4.9 percent.
Still, the governor has been dogged by critics who allege the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo has the personality of a bipolar tarantula.
Cuomo hatched plans to change that view of himself after watching the Matthew Mc Conaughey movie How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days in his office in the state Capitol, sources said.
"He was very concerned that within a week-and-a-half’s time he could lose his popularity," a source close to the administration said. "We told him, 'No offense Andrew, but you're not that popular. Gun owners hate you. The media thinks you're evil. Even your dad actually voted for Howie Hawkins.' That's when Andrew came up with idea for the department. He said New Yorkers will 'love' it or be kicked out of the state. No joke."
A spokesman for the governor declined comment.