The New York love affair with the Cuomo family is far from over. Even while eulogizing the death of their Patriarch over the holidays, the media couldn’t avoid resurrecting the dreams many liberals had of a Mario Cuomo presidency and fondly recalling his iconic speech at the Democratic Convention in 1992. (For the record, a very fine speech for the target audience. I remember Mario well and the man could deliver a stem winder, no question about it.) While he deserves the accolades he received for his accomplishments on behalf of the Democrats, there are still Big Apple denizens who can’t resist using the moment to draw comparisons between the Left wing icon and his son, the current Governor of New York.
One of these is Errol Louis, host of a local political talk show and, apparently, a big fan of the Governor. Seizing the moment, he reviews some of Mario’s greatest hits and then opines on how conditions are just right for the son to boldly go forth on the path the father declined to tread.
But the question remains: Would America have been ready to elect an unabashed liberal? And is the country ready to do so now? At a time when income inequality has far surpassed even the startling differences of the 1980s, liberalism shows signs of revival. After 20 years of electing Republican mayors, New York City voters in 2013 chose Bill de Blasio, whose promise to close the gap between rich and poor was embodied in a line — a “tale of two cities” — taken directly from Cuomo’s 1984 speech.
Cuomo’s son, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, used his inaugural speech to focus on national issues: He included talk of raising the minimum wage and boasts about being the first big state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage and implement tough restrictions on gun ownership.
Andrew Cuomo said his father, on what turned out to be his deathbed, had reviewed the speech. “He said it was a good speech,” Andrew said.
A hint, perhaps, of things to come.
I’m not sure who that hint was supposed to be directed at, but I certainly hope they are listening. While I’ve pretty much given up hope of it happening, I’ve long expressed hopes that the Democrats could somehow nominate Cuomo. If they did, the GOP should probably be able to win the White House handily in 2016 even if we nominated David Duke. Just to review a few of Cuomo’s “qualifications” to be the nominee, let’s jump in the Way Back Machine.
Cuomo is the same guy who only recently banned fracking in New York (once the election was safely over) at a time when Americans are enjoying record low gas prices, support the Keystone Pipeline and are more on board with American energy independence than at any time in recent memory.
Cuomo’s liberal policies on health care and willingness to meddle with the private sector was on display when he ordered New York insurance companies to pay for transgender surgeries (with the entire pool of the insured footing the bill).
His own campaign was mired in charges of obstruction and witness tampering, though it didn’t stop his liberal base from turning out.
And let’s not forget that he signed into law some of the most oppressive gun control laws in the nation (leading to open gun confiscation from law abiding citizens) and established a secret list of tens of thousands of people who had their Second Amendment rights removed despite never having been charged with a crime. And all of this comes at a time when the majority of Americans feel it’s more important to protect gun rights.
In terms of having the appeal across multiple demographics one needs to win a national race, Cuomo couldn’t even carry the support of most of his own state last year and only won on the strength of the New York City vote.
So, sure… by all means, Democrats, please figure out a way to nominate this guy. But as I said earlier, I fear that even Team Donkey won’t be that suicidal. There’s really only room on the debate stage for one ultra-crazy leftist at a time and Bernie Sanders is already running.