New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a bill signing ceremony in New York, Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. Cuomo was joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as he signed a “red flag” bill, which attempts to prevent people who present a threat to themselves or others from purchasing or owning a gun. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has become a familiar face in the news over the last couple of weeks as he manages his state’s fight against the Chinese virus. His handling of the crisis has received high marks from people on both sides of the aisle. As Cuomo’s presence has increased, speculation appears to be growing among politicos about whether the Democrats might choose to draft him to replace the Party’s current presumptive nominee, Joe Biden.
It’s amazing that only four weeks ago, the Democrats pulled out all the stops to resurrect Biden’s dying campaign. People are now openly talking about his decline which seems to have accelerated in a short period of time. Perhaps it’s the stress, but his speech and his brain freezes have become more frequent. His diminished capacity can no longer be questioned.
Lloyd Constantine, who was once a senior policy adviser to former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, writes,“Biden is a melting ice cube. Those of us who have closely watched as time ravaged the once sharp or even brilliant minds of loved ones and colleagues, recognize what is happening to the good soldier Joe.”
Cuomo would be a more viable candidate than Biden. I have no idea how the Democrats could, or even if they would want to, draft Cuomo. The National Review’s John Fund considers how this might be arranged:
Of course, the mathematics of how Governor Cuomo could be drafted to become the Democratic nominee are daunting. He has zero delegates and no campaign and can’t be seen as being distracted by politics during a crisis. But Emily Zanotti of The Daily Wire says that if states continue to postpone or cancel upcoming primaries, a window of opportunity could be there: “Cuomo may be able to fill a hole for needy Democrats who are concerned that neither of the two frontrunners, [Bernie] Sanders and Biden, are within striking distance of winning a majority of delegates and the Democratic nomination outright.”
And strange things happen in politics.
If Cuomo were to become the nominee, the question of course becomes, could he beat President Trump?
He would certainly be a far more formidable opponent than Joe Biden. But Cuomo may lean too far to the left to appeal to voters in the battleground states who decide the election.
For example, in January 2019, to much fanfare, New York State passed the “The Reproductive Health Act (RHA),” described by Cuomo himself as the “most aggressive” abortion law in the country. Christina Fadden, chair of New York State Right to Life, said that, “RHA has made abortion a ‘fundamental right’ and prohibits all limits on abortion, which not even Roe v. Wade did.” Fadden added that, “RHA has expanded abortion-on-demand in New York past 24 weeks – well past when unborn children feel pain, are viable, and suffer during the course of an abortion – and up to birth. This is inhumane.”
Prior to the passage of the RHA, third-trimester abortions had been banned in the state except when necessary to save the life of the mother.
Cuomo was so proud of this legislation that he arranged for One World Trade Center and other landmarks to be lit up in pink to celebrate the occasion.
His extreme position on abortion may not even sit well with all pro-choice Americans. Obviously polls vary, but the majority of Americans do not support late-term abortion. A February 2019 Marist Poll showed that 71% believed that it should be illegal compared to 25% did not. That same poll found that 66% of adults said “abortion should be banned after 20 weeks except to save the life of the mother, while 18 percent said abortion should be allowed any time until birth. Five percent said abortion should be banned altogether.”
Cuomo also is very proud of the gun control legislation his state has passed. In October 2019, Gun and Ammo Magazine rated New York the least gun friendly state in the U.S. Another survey showed it to be the state with the eighth strictest gun laws in the country. However, I believe they’ve passed additional legislation since then.
There have been several occasions when suspicion has surrounded his administration, however, none of it has stuck to him. In September 2018, his closest aid was sentenced to six years in prison for “soliciting and accepting more than $300,000 in bribes from executives of two companies with state business in return for taking official actions on the firms’ behalf.” If he were to become a serious candidate, his past business dealings would be scrutinized.
Although Cuomo is socially liberal, I’ve heard it said he is fiscally conservative.
Conservative pundit Roger Simon weighed in on the possibility that the Democrats might draft the New York governor in The Epoch Times. He believes the chances are rising by the day. Simon writes:
As for defeating Trump, Cuomo will have an uphill struggle. As I was reminded in a phone call by American Enterprise Institute economist Benjamin Zycher, the governor successfully helped to prevent fracking in needy upstate New York. He might be able partially to walk this back by claiming an economic emergency, but whether the voters will believe him is moot. In the long run, this knee-jerk liberal viewpoint could cost him dearly in the coveted swing states.
Another problem for Cuomo will be garnering the support of the Bernie Bros, but that would be a problem for Biden as well. It’s anecdotal, but an Atlanta CEO told me his perusal of the Bernie Sanders forum on Reddit showed many of the Bros already washing their hands of the entire election. Worse, several of them were deliberately refusing to observe the guidances we all follow regarding the virus, now that it is looking like their hero is being denied the nomination.
In any case, though I doubt Cuomo could defeat Trump, my guess is he would ultimately fare better than the increasingly hapless Biden, who might be headed for electoral disaster.
There was a time, in early 2019, when Cuomo was thinking about entering the race for the Democratic nomination. He told The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere at the time, that if Biden declined to enter the race, he might. Dovere writes that the last time he asked Cuomo about a 2020 run, he replied, “If, if, if, if. Call me when we get the fifth if.”