This definitely must be the season for political analysts to begin killing some time and imagining scenarios for a presidential election which is still nearly 4 years away. Speculating is always a fun game, but when you begin running out of the most plausible candidates you find yourself dipping a bit too deep into the well and dredging up some of the nastiness at the bottom. At least on the surface, that seems to be what’s going on with this Politico article wherein they find a number of “clues” leading them to believe that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is seriously considering a run for the Democratic nomination in 2020. This trail of breadcrumbs begins with his appearance at the recent meeting of governors in Washington DC.
After studiously avoiding the event for six years, Andrew Cuomo finally made an appearance in Washington during the presidential showcase formally known as the National Governors Association winter meeting.
The New York governor’s visit was fleeting — he hobnobbed at a Friday evening reception with his Democratic colleagues before returning home the same day — but it’s a step onto the national stage guaranteed to fuel speculation about his 2020 intentions.
“We need to win back the middle-class while pushing progressive values,” Cuomo said at a private dinner that included fellow governors Dannel Malloy, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper and Terry McAuliffe, according to a person who attended, before reviewing the “Middle Class Recovery Act” he’s currently pushing in Albany.
Yes, Cuomo showed up at the governors meeting on Friday evening and made a few remarks on the side, none of which had to do with the election in 2020. The Politico authors go on from there to describe Cuomo’s incredible sense of self-worth, talking about how he views himself as a Democrat who really “gets things done.” For examples on that score he can point to issues such as gay marriage, a nearly satanic gun control bill, paid family leave and a steeply increased minimum wage. The governor frequently compares himself to other Democrats who failed to accomplish so much in such a short period of time.
That’s a bit of a red herring, however, no matter whether it’s the governor saying it or one of his admirers. To be sure, all of those “achievements” are very real but let’s remember that Andrew Cuomo was doing all of this in New York State. He has the power of the Big Apple and the Democratic machine behind him, firm control of the state assembly and a narrowly divided state Senate with plenty of Republicans who vote along with the Democrats when it suits their purposes. These were not exactly tough battles.
I could only dream of a situation where Politico is correct and the Democrats somehow managed to nominate this guy as their candidate in four years. Unfortunately, the reality is that he comes with far too much baggage. The Politico authors do take some time out to mention perceived ideological differences between the wings of the party and how the more radical left (read Bernie Sanders supporters) would be suspicious of a mainstream Clintonite like Cuomo. Those are actually the least of his worries, though. You have to read down at least halfway through the article before finding even a brief mention of the fact that Andrew Cuomo is embroiled in multiple corruption investigations, some of which have already taken down his closest aides and members of his inner circle. It remains to be seen whether or not the long arm of the law will eventually snag Cuomo himself, but the stench of investigations and possible further trouble down the road should certainly make the Democrats gun shy after their recent experiences with Hillary Clinton.
But who knows? Maybe I’m wrong. If the Democrats wish to nominate Andrew Cuomo and run him against Donald Trump I say bring it on. In fact, I can’t think of many people outside of perhaps Keith Ellison that I would rather see the GOP run against.