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A Love Match, Not An Alliance, Unites a Cuomo and a Kennedy

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Andrew Cuomo is amused by the spin people are putting on the announcement of his engagement to Kerry Kennedy. A great liberal merger, some are calling it—the symbolic union of an old dynasty with a new one. Even, heaven help us, Cuomolot. “That’s full of it,” says Andrew, 32, with a laugh. “Obviously we don’t look at it as a merger. We decided to get married because we care very much for each other.”

Andrew, the son of New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, proposed to Kerry, 30, Bobby Kennedy’s daughter, over dinner in a New York City restaurant on Valentine’s Day, after dating her for 18 months. He lives in Manhattan, where he runs HELP, a nonprofit organization that builds housing for the homeless, and she in Boston, where she is executive director of the Robert Kennedy Memorial Center, a human rights organization. Of necessity, theirs was a courtship conducted via planes, trains and automobiles. “She would come to New York with some frequency,” says Andrew, “and I would go there.”

Once seemingly one of America’s most eligible bachelors, Andrew will surrender his eligibility this spring, reportedly in a ceremony at the McLean, Va., home of Kerry’s mother, Ethel. Kerry will move her office to New York City, where everyone expects the two to live blissfully. Maria Pavlovich, Cuomo’s assistant at HELP, says Andrew and Kerry are an “ordinary, normal couple…both down-to-earth.” For relaxation they prefer casual dinners out or going to the movies.

For his part, Mario Cuomo couldn’t be happier about the match. “Kerry is a wonderful, wonderful young lady,” he said recently on his weekly radio show. Indeed, the only question among the Cuomos is what took Andrew so long. “My mother, who’s 88 years old, was called by Andrew and told he was engaged,” said the Governor. “She summed up her attitude with one word: ‘final-mente!—which means ‘finally!’ ”