Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

MARIO CUOMO AT THE DUTCH TREAT
CLUB, 100TH ANNIVERSARY

Mario Cuomo spoke at the one-hundredth-anniversary
luncheon of the Dutch Treat Club, held at the National
Arts Club, Gramercy Park, New York, on October 5, 2004.

WILLIAM O’SHAUGHNESSY: Our great E. Nobles Lowe, John Donnelly, and Ted Crane met at Sardi’s last summer to find a worthy keynote speaker for this historic occasion. The governor was their first, second, and third choice. So they didn’t leave us too much running room!

He is a unique public figure who wasn’t enticed by the Supreme Court of the land or the presidency itself. But he is by our invitation. And we’re so glad he’s here.

The Boston Globe calls him “our foremost philosopher-statesman.” A college president labeled him “the greatest thinker of the twentieth century.” I can’t beat that. Everyone knows he served for three terms with great distinction as the fifty-second governor of New York. And among this sophisticated gathering of journalists, academics, and artists, many can quote verbatim from his brilliant speeches at Notre Dame and at the Democratic Convention in San Francisco in 1984, when he electrified a nation.

He’s written ten books, including his newest, on the New York Times “extended” bestseller list, Why Lincoln Matters: Now More Than Ever. It’s not the first time he’s written about President Lincoln. His Lincoln on Democracy was translated into many languages and read avidly around the world.

By day, he practices law at the uptown firm founded by Wendell Willkie. He hates it when I call it an “ivory tower/white shoe” law firm.

When I’m feeling brave, I introduce him as a “failed baseball player with too many vowels in his name”! And he actually did get a bigger signing bonus than Mickey Mantle, who later called that scout “the dumbest guy on the planet”!

-415-

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