Opinion: The Cuomo watch

By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders

Last week Andrew Cuomo began his third term as governor of New York State. This week the clock starts ticking on whether he will shortly seek a new job…president of the United States.

It’s not as if Governor Cuomo doesn’t have enough to occupy his time in Albany.

In fact, he and the state legislature have a full plate of issues to contend with. Rent laws for New York City, health insurance, MTA funding, repairing an aged infrastructure, ethics and election reform, passage of a new state budget by April 1, and much more.

To be accurate, Mr. Cuomo has said repeatedly that under no circumstances will he run for president in 2020. Yet the rumors persist. To a large extent, they have been fueled by his recently amped up talk about the conditions in Washington, D.C. and the failures of the Trump presidency with comparisons to his own leadership in New York. Andrew Cuomo would surely not be the first politician to say one thing and proceed to do another especially as it relates to a run for higher office. Some call that lying, some politicians call it strategy.

With the first presidential primaries and caucuses now just 12 months away, persons with national ambitions must begin to raise money and assemble a multi-state election organization very soon. Those efforts require a minimum of six months to plan before the various state contests begin.

Some potential candidates have already announced the formation of exploratory committees.

Others will be following suit in the coming few months. In all practicality, anyone who wishes to run for president in 2020 has until July 1 of this year to start in earnest. So the clock is ticking and the Cuomo watch has begun.

Rewind back 30 some years ago. Then Governor Mario Cuomo flirted with the notion of running for president in 1988.

He had many supporters around the country. He waited and waited but ultimately ran out of time. Mario Cuomo served three terms as governor and then lost his bid for a fourth term in 1994 against George Pataki. No governor has ever successfully run for a fourth four-year term with the exception of Nelson Rockefeller.

Mario’s son Andrew is well aware of all that history and will not repeat the mistakes of his father.

The smart talk in Albany is that Cuomo is waiting to see what his good friend former Vice President Joe Biden decides to do. If Biden runs, Andrew Cuomo likely will not.

And if Biden should become president next year, don’t be surprised to see Andrew Cuomo pack his bags for a high-level cabinet position in Washington D.C.

Either way, Cuomo seems to have designs on a different career path. So the clock is indeed ticking.

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