Post-Election Speculation on Cuomo in 2020 By Luke Perry
Speculation that Governor Andrew Cuomo will run for president in 2020 began immediately after Clinton's loss
Tom Precious of The Buffalo News asked “Is a White House Run in the Cards for Cuomo in 2020?” Precious identified two paths and three challenges facing the Governor.
1. Run for a third term in 2018 and seek to perform well outside of New York City to demonstrate the broader appeal likely necessary in a national election
2. Not seek re-election, form an exploratory committee, fully dedicate himself to national messaging and building name recognition
1. It will be difficult, though not impossible, to focus on leading New York’s government and simultaneously laying the groundwork for a competitive presidential run
2. The federal investigation of bribery and bid rigging related to people and projects close to Cuomo has tarnished his reputation.
3. Cuomo commands New York’s Democratic Party, but limited connections with key party insiders elsewhere.
Initial challenge how to lead widespread Anti-Trump sentiment in New York City and beyond
Ginia Bellafante of The New York Times reported that the pervasive mood in New York has been “grief-stricken and despairing” as it has become the “nation’s capital of discontentment.” Clinton lost New York City nearly nine to one. “Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo both Democrats, now seem to be elevating their longstanding rivalry to one for the role of progressive opponent in chief.”
The day after the election Cuomo said he had a good conversation with Trump and “his service in the White House could be a ‘bonus’ for New York,” perhaps in terms of infrastructure, when many bridges, for instance, need federal money for repairs. Days later, the Governor announced the development of a statewide hotline people can call to report incidents of bias crime, such as racist or Anti-Semitic graffiti.
One way Governor Cuomo can simultaneously represent his state and publicly challenge the Trump administration is over immigration and pro-white, anti-Muslim sentiments that can accompany support of Trump’s proposed reforms. Kristine Guerra of The Washington Post reported Cuomo’s first Facebook post since election night was in defense of minorities and immigrants:
“Whether you are gay or straight, Muslim or Christian, rich or poor, black or white or brown, we respect all people in the state of New York,” Cuomo (D) wrote. “It's the very core of what we believe and who we are . . . We don't allow a federal government that attacks immigrants to do so in our state.”
This report was filed by Luke Perry, Chair and Associate Professor of Government at Utica College.