Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made flurry of media appearances over before, during and after Hurricane Sandy slammed in to New York and the east coast.

The governor traditionally sticks to a handful of in-state media outlets and rarely does a television interview (his first sit-down TV appearance since he was elected governor was on Capital Tonight with Liz back in June).

Cuomo did phone in to NY1 and to Liz for YNN’s storm coverage this week and did talk back interviews with News 12 on Long Island.

The need for Cuomo to be out front on this is clear: He’s the public official on the ground and is clearly in his element when he’s pushing the levers of power for what, for him, is the basic function of a functioning government.

And while NY1 has long since taken down the “Cuomo Clock” charting the governor’s absence from appearing on the station, watchers of the governor have a different, less visible clock.

Cuomo, up until last night, hasn’t done any national television appearances, even in the aftermath of the same-sex marriage vote in 2011.

That changed after Hurricane Sandy. The governor sat down for interviews with Brian Williams of NBC (the former employer of the governor’s incoming Communiations Director Allison Gollust) and Diane Sawyer of ABC News.

Cuomo, unlike his more bombastic colleagues in other states, has sought to keep a low profile in the national press, in part because he doesn’t raise expectations that he’s running for president in 2016.

But questions during a natural disaster on politics and political ambitions would be downright inappropriate.

In an interview with Fred Dicker on his Talk-1300 show, Cuomo’s top aide Larry Schwartz said the national media tour isn’t meant to promote the governor, but bring attention to the disaster.

“But Fred here is what I would say, the first time the governor goes on national TV, it’s for the people of New York state,” Schwartz said. “It wasn’t for him.”

He continued, “It was a disaster He went on there to bring attention and to ask for help for the people of New York state. So the first time you see the governor on national TV it was because New York was hit with a disaster, it was about helping New York, helping New Yorkers.”

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