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OpinionColumnistsMark Chiusano

From Andrew Cuomo to Donald Trump, swagger is having a moment

Brash New York swagger has been on display

Brash New York swagger has been on display this month, from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Donald Trump to the guy blocking a subway door with his motorcycle. Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

If you haven’t already, do enjoy this video of a dude blocking the doorway on a Bronx-bound 2 train.

The door is blocked because the guy is straddling a baby blue motorcycle that he somehow maneuvered onboard. This hero is your perfect vision of the brazen New Yorker. Someday they should make an equestrian statue of him to guard Central Park from tourists, except instead of the horse it’s a motorcycle, and instead of a military uniform he’s wearing a white muscle tee and sunglasses underground. In his confident head-shake at hopeful straphangers trying to get on the train, he exudes grace or at least I-don’t-give-a-damn cool under pressure. Sorry bro, try the next door.

Is the video another staged situation, like Pizza Rat might have been? Were there extenuating circumstances explaining why the guy brought the motorcycle onto the train? Let’s not bother ourselves with those details, and instead just enjoy New York swagger in its purest form. Swagger that ventures out into the world wearing gym shorts and no sleeves, ready to hit the accelerator. You got a problem?

Swagger can cover up a lot

Speaking of brash New Yorkers, did you see the one about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign touting its success engaging “small donors,” part of the anything-she-can-do-I-can-do-better stage of the Democratic gubernatorial primary?

In this case “she” is actress and educational activist Cynthia Nixon, down in the polls and sorely lacking in funds. But that hasn’t stopped Cuomo from gearing up for battle like he’s busting onto a rush hour A train.

Cuomo’s campaign wanted to prove it had support from regular people, not just wealthy New Yorkers, corporations, political action committees and Winklevoss twins. It turns out Cuomo’s swagger was hiding the fact that only 1 percent of the campaign funds raised in the last six months came from donations of $250 or less. And no less than 67 separate donations of a single dollar came from a guy who shares the address of a campaign aide.

Actually, the brash New Yorker is everywhere these days, particularly in court.

There was Alain Kaloyeros, the hotshot physicist and SUNY official who oversaw economic development upstate, once the state’s highest-earning employee with an $800,000 salary. The kind of guy who drove sports cars including a Ferrari with a DR NANO vanity plate. His stride was diminished last week when he was found guilty of steering contracts to developers who were also Cuomo donors (Cuomo was not accused of wrongdoing in the case).

This week, former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos joined the convicted crew for a quid pro quo scheme — well-paid work for his son from a business that needed legislative help from Skelos. Skelos was one of the three most powerful men in state government. His son, Adam, was getting $78,000 for a low-show job at the medical malpractice insurance company and he couldn’t even show up regularly for that. So the company made a new non-job for him.

Sometimes swagger isn’t so funny

New York swagger hit the biggest stage with Queens native President Donald Trump this week.

It doesn’t get more braggadocious than his saying on Monday: “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia who interfered in the 2016 election. And then on Tuesday, coming back to say he meant there wasn’t any reason it “wouldn’t be” Russia. The nerve. The gall. It doesn’t get better. Ten out of ten.

Motorcycle dude was not available for comment about his fellow Empire State swaggerers, but it’s very possible he wouldn’t be impressed. He might even switch to that other New York emotion: outrage.

The swagger is only funny when it’s just a little entertainment on a delayed train.

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