According to state capitol insiders, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is still seriously looking at ways to break into the 2020 Democratic primary race, but first he needs to win another term as the chief executive of the Empire State. Since a Republican can’t realistically be elected here, he only needs to stave off any serious primary challenge and he’ll be well on his way. And after all, who would challenge a member of the Cuomo dynasty from inside his own party?
Enter Cynthia Nixon. You may remember her as the skinny, red-headed friend from the Sex and the City series some years ago. (Or, you know… so I am assured people who watched it… *cough*) A quick search shows that she has been politically active in recent years, and in 2016 characterized herself as “definitely a Hillary Clinton supporter.” (Not sure how well that will play this year, but so be it. ) She keeps dropping hints that she may be challenging Cuomo from the left and the buzz has grown to the point where the local media is asking Cuomo about it. He didn’t handle the question well. (Jezebel)
Cynthia Nixon, star of Sex and the City and the criminally underrated 2005 film Little Manhattan, hasn’t confirmed whether or not she’ll challenge New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in this year’s upcoming gubernatorial primary. But it appears she’s encouraged by how nuts Cuomo’s been driven by the mere threat of competition—about as nuts as he gets when you, say, correctly point out he’s responsible for the NYC subway system—and we’re inching ever closer to a Governor Miranda.
It was reported last week that Nixon, a longstanding ally of NYC Mayor and Cuomo nemesis Bill de Blasio, has been having “serious conversations” about challenging Cuomo as a progressive Democratic candidate. And though the governor attempted to seem glib about possibly facing Nixon in the upcoming primary, he most certainly was not, as he made cute little “jokes” to reporters about Nixon not being a big enough celeb to scare him (“I’m hoping that Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Billy Joel don’t get into the race. If it’s just about name recognition, that would really be a problem,” he “joked,”) and attributing her run to Vladimir Putin and “Russian interference,” ha, ha, hahaha, ha. (Note to Cuomo: if you are in fact voted out of office, please do not consider any form of comedy as an alternative career.)
Cuomo is doing his best to make jokes about this, but it certainly sounds like the idea of Nixon challenging him has gotten well and truly under his skin. Check out this short video from Spectrum News in New York where analysts play the audio of Cuomo commenting on her. His attempt at a joke winds up cracking him up to the point where he can barely speak, but it doesn’t sound as if he actually thinks it was funny. Frankly, he sounds deranged.
Also of interest is the local news staff acting totally offended at how Cuomo could discount “the importance of her candidacy” when discussing Nixon. They then go on to compare her to Obama, Jesse Ventura (!), Ronald Reagan (!!) and Donald Trump (!!!), citing examples of celebrities who have gone on to hold elected office.
I’m not sure why Cuomo would actually be worrying, assuming he is. After a couple of cycles where his approval dipped down to around the 50% mark, he’s now back up to 62% with a majority saying they’re ready to elect him again. This should, in theory, be an easy walk to the victory line. But would a known celebrity with a lot of name recognition in New York City change that? (Particularly if he keeps belittling her.)
Speaking as a New York resident, I say why not? Sure, Nixon has zero experience related to the job and would be, if anything, even more liberal than Cuomo. But given the current state of affairs in New York, how much worse could she run the state into the ditch? And besides, her voice is far less grating than his so the press conferences would at least be a bit more tolerable in that regard.