Deal her out: Hillary to endorse Andrew Cuomo over lefty Cynthia Nixon

Dilemmas, dilemmas. Whom to support? The terrible centrist-y incumbent whose father was also governor or the left-wing upstart who, if elected, would be the first woman chief executive of New York?

Easy call for Hillary. Nixon’s the Berniebro candidate, and you know how Hillary feels about Berniebros. Besides, dynasts gotta look out for each other.

Mrs. Clinton is expected to break her virtual hiatus from the campaign trail this week, when she will endorse Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York in a contested Democratic primary, her spokesman, Nick Merrill, confirmed — a move sure to enrage liberal activists seeking Mr. Cuomo’s ouster at the hands of Cynthia Nixon, the actress turned progressive insurgent. Mrs. Clinton has also recorded an automated phone call endorsing Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic leader in the Georgia House, who is competing for the party’s nomination for governor on Tuesday…

Mrs. Clinton’s stunning defeat in 2016 delivered a blunt-force coda to the family’s run in electoral politics, and many Democrats are wary of seeing either of them re-engage. They worry that the Clinton name reeks of the past and fear that their unpopularity with conservative-leaning and independent voters could harm Democrats in close races. And among many younger and more liberal voters, the Clintons’ reputation for ideological centrism has little appeal.

Backing Cuomo over Nixon doesn’t strictly contradict her 2016 pitch. Unless I missed it, she’s never gone quite so far as to say that a woman candidate should be preferred to a male one for reasons of “gender equality” alone. Even at her most condescending moments towards women voters, like when she accused Republican women of voting the way their husbands or fathers wanted, it’s never been suggested that they should prefer *any* woman candidate to *any* man. (She has spoken in absolutes about other feminist issues.) It’s more like they should prefer a woman to any man so long as the woman in question is Hillary Clinton. Shattering glass ceilings is important — so long as it’s Hillary who’s shattering them.

But there’s an irony here. It seems odd at first blush that Cuomo would want her endorsement, or at least that he would want to make a spectacle of it. New York is the safest blue state for Hillary to reengage politically since it’s the state that sent her to the Senate but there are plenty of leftists there too who are excited about Nixon’s insurrection. Sending out Bernie’s old foe, the woman who gamed the DNC in her favor in 2016 to land the nomination and then blew a winnable election to Trump, feels like waving a red cape in front of the socialists/progressives rallying behind Nixon. In a vacuum, the Clinton endorsement might do more to galvanize Nixon’s supporters than Cuomo’s. The reason Cuomo wants Hillary out there for him anyway, I assume, is precisely because he’s worried about Nixon’s glass-ceiling pitch appealing to Democratic women who don’t much like him (does anyone?). Who better to reassure those women that it’s not a sin to prefer a man to a woman, at least in a Democratic primary, than the first woman major-party nominee for president, whose own national glass-ceiling ambitions fell just a bit short? To put it slightly different, Cuomo is playing the woman card by dealing Hillary in. She’s his feminist firewall against someone who’s trying to become the first woman governor of the state.

She’s planning (hoping?) to do some more campaigning for her party this fall, although her better half has been scarce on the trail lately now that some Democrats have come around to believing that he’s a rapist. Here’s Hillary over the weekend at Yale, turning the sour lemons of her defeat into lemonade via prop comedy. She’ll be at Harvard this week to receive a medal for her “transformative impact on society” via her many accomplishments in, er…