Andrew Cuomo’s case for 2020 -- no, really

On his way out, a local politician noticed me taking notes on the speech. “Is the announcement coming?” the person asked, then joked that with the way Cuomo is structuring the rollout of this Justice Agenda, “100 days is either a countdown or a count-up.” I asked the politician to say that on the record. The response was a closed-lip headshake. No point in saying something nice and seeming like a traitor to the others. No point in saying something mean and worrying about how Cuomo might make an issue of it.

Later, during our interview, Cuomo made it clear that he thinks most of the Democrats running for president are going off a cliff, feeling out how far left they can go while still saying Sanders is too far left. Cuomo believes he’s the only one who’s figured out how to be cozy with Sanders in the right way while keeping his distance and not giving up too much.

Again, I told him, that sounds like he could be making an argument for himself as a presidential candidate. Long before he could try to end the interview without answering, I asked him what he’ll do if Biden doesn’t end up running. He made it sound like I was stringing together all sorts of hypotheticals, when in fact it was just one, and a simple one at that. But once again, he made sure to leave the door open. “If, if, if, if,” he said. “Call me when we get the fifth if.”