Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

A CONVERSATION ABOUT
CHRISTMAS … AND LIFE

We enjoy all of our conversations with Governor Mario
Cuomo—and he tolerantly indulges our many intrusions
into his busy schedule. We aired this interview in
December 2007.

WILLIAM O’SHAUGHNESSY (W.O.): It’s Christmas 2007 with a brand-new year hovering on the horizon. And who better to turn to for an inspiring vision of what’s to come than the fifty-second governor of New York. Listeners to this radio station know of our great admiration for Governor Mario M. Cuomo.

GOVERNOR MARIO CUOMO (M.C.): Thank you, Bill. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Holidays. Whatever your strain of belief, disbelief, anticipation, anxiety, or desire, I embrace it and extend my hope for a bright future.

W.O.: Governor, you used the word “happy” about five times. Are we happy?

M.C.: Well, as human beings, we can’t be happy all the time because of our vulnerability, desires, and death. Saint Francis of Assisi prayed that he would lose all desires, except for the desire to give. But because we’re vulnerable, we are beset by needs and disappointments.

But Christmas makes it easier to be happy because it reminds us of our blessings and the precious gift of Life.

W.O.: Governor Cuomo, someone once said, despite all Mario Cuomo’s accomplishments, the guy should have been a priest.

M.C.: Oh, no. After recognizing my desire for women, I decided I probably wouldn’t make a very good priest. But there are all kinds of priests. Anglican and Episcopal priests are allowed to have wives. I think they have it better than Catholics. It’s easier to recruit new priests if you satisfy that part of life.

W.O.: Governor, you do seem relentlessly drawn to the great soulful, spiritual issues of the day. Everybody says, “What’s Mario

-141-

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