Will concentrate on bid for White House instead
In stunning news that is certain to rock the New York State and even national political scenes, the Reporter has it on good information that, should he be subject to a serious primary challenge in 2018, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will decline to run for re-election.
You heard it here first, in the Reporter.
A reliable source has passed along to us, on condition of anonymity, that the Governor, known for strategizing career moves well into the future, has decided that anything resembling a hard-fought internecine primary battle for next year’s Democratic Party nomination for governor would prove injurious to any aspirations he may have for a White House run in 2020.
On the other hand, should the 2018 race shape up to be a cakewalk for Mr. Cuomo, he will obligingly assume the mantle of a third term, then use it as a springboard for the highest office in the land.
A year-long hiatus from public life could, for most career government officials, be considered detrimental to their subsequent electoral prospects. That was not the case, however, for Hillary Clinton, who retired as US Secretary of State in early 2013, and spent the intervening years resting up, going on speaking tours, writing books and otherwise shoring up her organization in preparation for taking the Democratic nomination handily and going on to win the 2016 popular vote.
The Clintons, Bill and Hillary, have been long-time allies of the Cuomo political dynasty, going back to Andrew’s father Mario. The former governor, who had designs on the presidency himself, was an early supporter of President Clinton, easing the newcomer from Arkansas’ assimilation into staid northeastern liberal Democratic political circles.
Like the royal families of Europe, who intermarried as an instrument of foreign policy, solidifying cross-national alliances, President Clinton brought young Andrew aboard as an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A pattern started to develop when then-HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros retired under a cloud at the beginning of President Clinton’s second term, triggered by a controversy allegedly involving questionable payments to a former mistress. Andrew replaced him in the position at the age of 39. History would repeat itself a little over 10 years later, when Mr. Cuomo’s entree to the Executive Mansion was facilitated by the scandalous behaviors of his predecessors Eliot Spitzer and, to a lesser degree, David Paterson.
Getting a taste of life in the tempestuous hothouse of Washington, DC as a young man, where sex, money and power ooze from every nook and cranny, where the nation’s best and brightest come to test their mettle, and where politicians with name recognition similar to Andrew Cuomo’s are treated like celebrities at Georgetown cocktail parties, Adams Morgan nightclubs, Rose Garden receptions and Kennedy Center galas, more than likely sparked an ambition in Andrew Cuomo’s impressionable young mind, a sentiment which may have been best expressed by one General Douglas MacArthur: “I shall return.”
Towards that end, Mr. Cuomo has frequently been characterized by critics as the consummate politician, though more ruthless and self-serving than most, every decision made and action taken on the basis of being in his political self-interest.
For example, despite massive opposition to fracking by the vast majority of New Yorkers, comprising farmers, parents, teachers, doctors and nurses, scientists, and yes, the entire environmental community, Gov. Cuomo dragged out the fight for years, in deference, apparently, to swing states Pennsylvania and Ohio, where the oil and gas industry rules. He also signed off on diverting Great Lakes water to the tiny burg of Waukesha, Wisconsin, probably for the same reason.
Gov. Cuomo has also embraced, over the nearly seven years he’s been in office, the Republican majority in the State Senate, even as they remain a stubborn stumbling block to the realization of several of his progressive goals. He’s never made any meaningful attempts to restore Democratic control of the body, even though registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in this state by a lopsided 2 to 1. He doesn’t show up to campaign for them, or in some cases, even endorse them. He hasn’t worked to delegitimize or defang the so-called Independent Democratic Conference, which is responsible for empowering the Republicans in the upper house.
It’s lost on no one that to be able to point to a record of “bipartisanship” at this time in our nation of polarization, strife and gridlock would prove a decided advantage to any presidential candidate in 2020.