Is he right? Could he or Cuomo run for national office without a spouse at his side? Could Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, another rising Democratic star? He’s steadfastly single. What about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, whose marriage unraveled messily in 2007? Although Jerry Brown strode unmarried onto the national stage — and sought the Democratic presidential nomination sans bride — decades ago, that was a different thing. He was a decided iconoclast, and his stubborn bachelorhood was part and parcel of his outré political appeal…

We’ve seemingly moved away from conventional and naïve expectations, if we ever really had them, and in the years to come we’ll surely see, on the national stage, more proof of that: candidates without partners, candidates with partners they haven’t wed, candidates with partners of the same sex.

And my guess is that many of them will do just fine, as long as they aren’t defensive or opaque and they permit enough of a view into their lives and hearts for voters to see — and identify with — a bedrock of common longings, a braid of recognizable frailties and frustrations.