Valerie Bauman was 25 and fresh on the Albany politics beat when she first noticed Andrew Cuomo staring at her. It was at a press conference for a new government transparency initiative, and she was seated across from Cuomo, who was then the state attorney general. Her face flushed, she looked around to see if anyone had noticed the future governor training his gaze on her. They had. “I started blushing and looking around at the people surrounding me, whose own facial expressions indicated, ‘Yes, ma’am, he’s looking at you,’” Bauman said in an email to The Daily Beast.
After the 2007 press conference, Bauman rushed over to a side door to try and get in a question with the AG. She didn’t have to try hard. Cuomo emerged and “beelined” toward her, as one former colleague who witnessed the interaction described it, gripping her hand and introducing himself. Bauman remained professional and was able to ask a few questions, but later overheard another reporter remarking that the governor seemed “very into her.”
Shortly afterward, she received a call at her desk at the Associated Press bureau. It was one of Cuomo’s aides, and he wanted to know: Would she ever be interested in a job with the attorney general?
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