Andrew Cuomo for president – you bet!
But not in 2020, as long Joe Biden is the Democratic candidate, a top political adviser to the New York governor said.
The bombshell poll showing a majority of Democrats would ditch former Vice President Joe Biden for Cuomo as the Democratic nominee confirms that the New York governor has become a national superstar for his steady leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, said New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs.
“It’s no surprise. Gov. Cuomo is doing a great job. The poll reflects that,” Jacobs said.
“His handling of the coronavirus makes him a presidential contender. People got to see who the real Andrew Cuomo is. People are impressed with the job he’s doing and see him as somebody who can lead the country,” Jacobs said.
But Cuomo won’t challenge his pal Joe Biden in 2020, with half the delegates already chosen, Jacobs opined.
“There’s no practical path for him to challenge Biden, nor would he want to. The governor is a loyal guy. He’s a Biden supporter. They’re very close. They speak regularly. They genuinely like each other,” Jacobs said.
However, Democrats would look to Cuomo in 2024 if President Trump wins re-election this fall, Jacobs said.
“Even when this crisis is over, people will remember how the governor handled it. It defines Andrew Cuomo as a strong leader you can count on when the chips are down,” Jacobs said. “It has been a defining moment.”
Jacobs said even if Biden defeats Trump this fall, it’s unclear if the former vice president will run for a second term in 2024.
Meanwhile the liberal Brookings Institute raved about Cuomo’s press briefings on COVID-19, comparing them favorably to President Trump’s.
“He does not have the White House Seal but his daily briefings are watched by millions of Americans. Andrew Cuomo has captured the American imagination by following Aristotle. His father Mario, who famously compared campaigning to poetry and governing to prose, would be proud at this son’s combination of the two,” the Brookings analysis said.
“His graphics are simple. His symbols and stories are powerful. He labels social distancing Matilda’s Rule,” after his mother (the state’s former First Lady) and talks to his younger brother Chris by video as he fights COVID-19. He organizes the New York hospital systems with labels like Surge and Flex’.”
The analysis concludes: “The Cuomo model is what Americans need in time of crisis. Mr. Cuomo, following Aristotle’s insights, is binding up our nation’s fabric as it frays. We need more of that from our leaders, not a belief that the medium is the message and power can create reality.”
Still, some Democrats privately snicker at the survey conducted by the conservative Club for Growth, saying the group’s goal was to undermine Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and aid Trump.
Cuomo himself swatted down speculation of a presidential run during an interview with his younger brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, Wednesday night.
“When I said I wanted to run for governor, I said to the people of my state, `I will serve as your governor.’ People asked me, `well, will you run for president?’ I said no. I’m not that guy, Chris. I’m not that politician that says, `yeah it’s all about me, the next step on the ladder. … I am true to my word,” Cuomo, 62, told his younger brother Wednesday evening.
The governor also said Biden, is a “personal friend of mine.”
“I’ve worked with him, he’s been a great friend to this state. I support him. I have for years. And he’s going to be, I believe, an excellent Democratic candidate and a leader,” Cuomo said.
One prominent local business leader said Cuomo is needed now in New York to lead the state through the public health crisis.
“We need Cuomo to continue to lead New York, not get distracted by national politics. The nation’s economic recovery is going to depend on what happens here,” said Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the New York City Partnership.