For those of us who parse Andrew Cuomo’s words and follow his movements on a daily basis, C-SPAN’s video archive containing dozens of old videos is a must-have resource.

The video collection is a fascinating, if not somewhat surreal, library of Cuomo.

One video is of Cuomo’s U.S. Senate confirmation hearing as Housing and Urban Development secretary, which was led by then-Sen. Al D’Amato and clocks in at 2-1/2 hours.


There are also two videos from his disastrous 2002 run for Democratic gubernatorial nomination. In one, he debates then-Comptroller Carl McCall, who refuses to say something complimentary about Cuomo.

In the other, Cuomo gives his withdrawal speech after concluding that he was so far down in the polls he would not be able to defeat McCall in the September primary. Watch for cameos that include Bill Clinton Bill deBlasio, Charlie King, Charlie Rangel and Joe Percoco.

While Cuomo is magnanimous at times in the speech, he blames his advisers for telling him to go negative, which he says cost him the nomination.

Of course, the campaign was a learning experience for Cuomo, who emerged from a messy divorce to run for attorney general and, well, you know the rest of the story.

Both the debate and withdrawal speech show Cuomoian themes in their embryonic phase that he still uses today, including the “one New York” message that has become the crescendo to his speeches as governor.

There are hours of tape on here, some of varying quality. And for a guy who has been in public life for nearly a generation, there are frustrating gaps.

Still, as the governor’s star rises nationally, the videos will surely be scoured by biographers, journalists, opposition researchers and political junkies with way too much time on their hands.

For the growing number of LCA members (myself included) who were in high school during Cuomo’s time in Washington and that first run for governor the videos provide a much needed background resource.

Video archives are important for us to understand those who have been in the public sphere for so long. They also provide for those gotcha moments pioneered by the late Tim Russert’s version of Meet the Press and later perfected by The Daily Show. This election cycle, BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski has taken old video to new heights of archival goodness.

Should Cuomo run for president in 2016, expect to see more of this video emerge.