Andrew Cuomo is laying low these days, but pretty soon—and you count bet the house on it— the Democratic party faithful will start to rally all around the State Attorney General as the next “great” Governor of State of New York. Hey the White House already weighed in right in front of the current governor David Paterson.
And let’s be clear about this. I'm a journalist and pride myself on being objective, but It’s very difficult—to see a scenario where the Republicans this year could actually win the Governor’s Mansion.
Number one—New York is true blue. As blue as the uniforms of the New York Giants football team! The Democrats already have the enrollment advantage when it comes party registration over Republicans in this state—and while it may be some intrigue for the media and political insiders—–It’s not good for the republican party to have more than one candidate in a race. These guys may end up killing each other with Cuomo having a front row seat. Ok, enough with being a diplomat, they will.
Normally it’s the Democrats in the circular firing squad—destroying each other but this time the honor belongs to the state GOP.
This year even the normal talking points are flipped/reversed. IT’S THE DEMOCRATS WHO traditionally ARGUE—WHEN THEY DON’T EVEN BELIEVE THE WORDS COMING OUT of their mouth—THAT “PRIMARY’S ARE A GOOD THING. PRIMARIES ARE GOOD FOR THE PARTY.”
BUT NOW—IT’S THE REPUBLICAN MINORITY LEADER SINGING THAT SAME SONG “I think it’s healthy; competition is healthy.” Says Dean Skelos.
So while Cuomo is standing by as the official “Governor in waiting,” the republican candidates are aiming at each other. Of course—with a smile for now.
Politics does make for strange bedfellows! The front runner on the Republican side–Former Congressman Rick Lazio (generally a very nice guy if you talk to him) lost some support after the last minute entry into the race by a conservative Long Island Democrat. That’s right—I said a democrat. Steve Levy the Suffolk County Executive and Levy announced he would switch parties and indeed seek the Republican nomination—quickly amassing some Republican endorsements. BAD NEWS for Lazio.
You guessed it! The narrative is already set on the Republican side. Lazio calls Levy a “rank opportunist.”
“The people of New York are looking for somebody that they can depend on,” Mr. Lazio said. “Not somebody that’s going to put their finger up to the wind and decide which way things are going. Not somebody that’s going to look at the polls and make decisions based on what’s favorable or in vogue for that particular time, but somebody who’s got a sense of conviction.”
Lazio’s problem, in the polls and with the critical area of campaign money—he has failed to catch fire, even in his own party. While the two republican candidates kill each other— in the name of who is best to represent New Yorkers—Cuomo gets to run an almost “rose garden strategy.” Avoiding the pitfalls and mistakes of a campaign—while doing “the people’s business,” as Attorney General.
Hate to be the one to break the news to you—but in the race for governor, don’t expect for it to be too exciting. Election day can’t come fast enough for Andrew Cuomo. The job for Cuomo and his team is to avoid making mistakes—-don’t touch any third rails of politics—continue to stay away from any investigation of fellow Democrat Gov. Paterson, and ignore the opposition.
I will concede this much—it's a tough year for incumbents across the country, and locally—Just ask former Nassau County executive Tom Suozzi (Cuomo is not the Governor, but already in office) and perhaps friends, my observation of Cuomo blowing out his competitors is wrong. Well polls can be wrong—but look at the recent survey from Siena College. Cuomo crushing Lazio 59 to 21. And Levy 63 to 16 percent.
Let the games begin.