The Andrew Cuomo Show
Americans should know his back story -- and what kind of president he would be.
“Inside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefings, and how their contrast to Trump’s became must-see TV,” ran the headline on Jake Lahut’s April 2 feature in Business Insider. In similar style, Variety headlined a March 28 column by Cynthia Littleton, “How the Coronavirus Crisis Turned Governor Andrew Cuomo Into a TV Sensation.” Even President Trump took notice.
“I wouldn’t mind running against Andrew,” the president told reporters. “But I’ll be honest, I think he’d be a better candidate than Sleepy Joe.” Cuomo did not challenge Biden in the primaries, but the third-term New York Governor, son of former New York governor Mario Cuomo, has hinted at higher aspirations.
In 2014, Andrew Cuomo authored All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life, which would probably not have appeared if Cuomo did not aspire to be president of the United States. He was mentioned as a running mate for Al Gore in 2000 and takes a stand with party progressives.
The Democratic Party of early 80s, Cuomo explains, was “trying to juxtapose its progressive vision – a philosophy of opportunity and shared success for all – with the Republican idea of attenuated government and survival of the fittest, embodied by Ronald Reagan.” Further, “blaming Reagan was correct but also was the simple answer.”
The election of Bill Clinton, on the other hand, generated renewed hope for “replacing the malaise brought on by twelve years of Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush. Bill Clinton and Al Gore were the next generation. They made government cool again.” Unlike Republicans, Clinton took on the country’s “large-scale urban ills” and put Andrew Cuomo in charge of Housing and Urban Development.
“I set out to help save an agency Republicans had written off, and at times, tried to abolish,” Cuomo writes. Traveling around the country for HUD, “I’d seen effective programs and examples of creative government.” Cuomo shared Al Gore’s “vision of making government leaner and more efficient” but provides no examples of how, exactly, Al Gore wanted to slim down government. As the All Things Possible author explains, “I wanted to push a progressive agenda forward.”
Trouble was, “HUD had taught me that a central-government-knows-best approach rarely produces the best results.” In fact, “even the physical space at HUD was dysfunctional,” not exactly a ringing endorsement of activist government.
“I am critical of government when I feel criticism is deserved,” Cuomo claims. “On the flip side, when government does what it is supposed to do, I will be the head cheerleader.” True to form, “the poetry of politics can fail, at times, in the prose of governing.” Still, “compassion and competence are not in tension but could be bound together, each essential to the effective pursuit of social justice.”
Cuomo cheers the ever-expanding bureaucratic state as essential to the public good, and the waste, fraud and incompetence inherent in the system does not change his vision. For Andrew Cuomo, as with POTUS 44 and every Democrat candidate, more dependency on government is the very thing the nation needs.
It escaped Cuomo’s notice that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with a budget of more than $6 billion, did not prevent COVID-19 and failed to control the coronavirus as it spread across the country. No word from Cuomo whether, as with HUD, even the open space at CDC is dysfunctional. As countless Americans lost their jobs, nobody at CDC, NIH or NIAID seemed to lose theirs.
Nothing that Cuomo did as governor prevented New York City from becoming the epicenter of the crisis. As Julie Kelly explains at American Greatness, “the facts prove that Cuomo put his state, and yes, the country as a whole, in danger with his last-minute disaster planning and fealty to open borders.” Even so, Cuomo puts on a white polo shirt and proclaims, “I say, my friends, that we go out there today and we kick coronavirus ass, that’s what I say.” And in a flash he becomes a tv star and potential candidate.
Democrat activist Lis Smith, who headed the Pete Buttigieg campaign, told Jake Lahut
“I think what we're seeing right now is the best of Andrew Cuomo, and it’s the Andrew Cuomo that the people who are close to him know and love.” Cuomo is showing “spiritual and moral leadership,” and “that’s one thing Donald Trump is just constitutionally incapable of doing.”
If not for Mario Cuomo, New Yorkers could be forgiven for believing, Andrew Cuomo never would have become governor of New York. Likewise, California’s Jerry Brown is the son of former governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown. Jerry Brown ran for president three times, each one a failure.
Despite the media buildup, hereditary governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to announce plans for a White House run, but All Things Possible, signals what kind of president he would be. As at HUD, where even the open spaces are dysfunctional, he would push forward a progressive, social-justice agenda billed as “cool” government.
Donald Trump wouldn’t mind running against Andrew Cuomo, but as the president says, we’ll have to see what happens.