What an interesting week it has been. We’ve had two major Supreme Court rulings, the ongoing saga of “Fast and Furious” with Darrell Issa & when you add in the fact that this is a year with a Presidential election? It’s been absolutely jam-packed with action and it looks like we are just getting started.
So what do I, as a blogger, write about to recap this week? 2016 of course!
As I’ve stated in the few pieces I’ve done previewing the 2016 field, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is the biggest non-Hillary/Biden name that is expected to jump into the field.
Cuomo, who was elected in 2010 to replace David Paterson, is the son of former New York Governor, Mario Cuomo. Mario, who had a very distinguished career that includes the keynote address at the 1984 Democratic National Convention, is perhaps most famous for his wavering when it came to his national ambitions. Let’s take a quick look at Mario’s wavering in 1992.
The 1992 fight for the Democratic nomination to take on then-President George H.W. Bush was a fairly interesting one. It included Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, then-former California Governor Jerry Brown and a charismatic Governor of Arkansas by the name of Bill Clinton.
Early on we saw Brown run his typical populist campaign, Harkin dominate the Iowa caucuses as a favorite son, Tsongas preach fiscal responsibility & Clinton was dogging in the polls thanks to his personal life. Speculation swirled that Mario Cuomo would jump into this race during the New Hampshire primary and go on to march to the nomination.
But Cuomo continued waffling. A plane was waiting on the tarmac for him to go to New Hampshire and the elder Cuomo still hadn’t made a decision on what to do. Mario would defer and Bill Clinton would comeback and eventually become a two-term President.
But the decision to defer has apparently been a sore point between the father and his son, Andrew. As a 2010 piece on Andrew Cuomo in the New York Times suggested:
He never pulled the trigger, and that’s been on Andrew’s mind ever since,” said a political kingmaker who has known the Cuomos for three decades and spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of offending them. “It made Andrew more ready to go on his gut.
Doesn’t it seem that Andrew Cuomo is a little bitter that his father didn’t run in 1992? Is this a tea leaf to read?
But what makes this scenario even more interesting is the potential of Hillary Clinton running in 2016. We could be looking at the Clinton-Cuomo matchup that we missed out on 24 years ago. It would also be a complete reversal of the election of ’92. We’d have the face of the Democratic Party that people wanted to see run (Mario Cuomo in ’92, Hillary in ’16) versus the fresh-face Governor that party insiders were keen on (Bill Clinton in ’92, Andrew Cuomo in ’16). How is that for bizarro world?
It also goes much deeper than that. If Hillary does run, she is the overwhelming favorite and what does Andrew do? He has been running since he became Governor hence his ardent support for marriage equality, his push to decriminalize small portions of marijuana & how he let the courts decide redistricting in order to gain moderates support. The legacy and record of Governor Andrew Cuomo has been crafted to appeal to all forms of voters but with the popularity of Mrs. Clinton; it could all be for naught.
Make no mistake, Andrew Cuomo will not wait until potentially 2024 (in which he would be out of office for six years, no longer a rising star & 64 years old) to run for POTUS. He’s not going to carry that risk, and thus we could see a very interesting dilemma play out in the Democratic Party.
The respect between the Cuomos and Clintons are well-known but all of that goodwill could be vanquished in one nasty primary season. The stakes would be higher too because it’s likely the last chance to run for the Presidency (Cuomo has a shot at 2020 obviously, if the Democrats don’t take the White House) and you don’t keep Bill Clinton out of the White House without some blood being shed.
Aren’t you now more excited for 2016 than you already are?