It’s so Miranda.
It could be a plot line for “Sex and the City 3”: fed up with some Alpha-male who’s plowing his way through the State Capitol like a bull in a china shop, Miranda Hobbes decides to throw run for office. And not just any office, she’s running for governor!
In the movie, Miranda wins. But Cynthia Nixon better realize that life isn’t filled with Hollywood endings.
Diving into the deep end of the pool, Nixon is taking on the big shark of New York politics. And besides Mr. Big, the campaign trail is filled with parochial potholes. One misstep – where Nixon stumbles over “Chili” (an upstate town that isn’t pronounced like the food) or eats a chicken wing with a fork – could badly cost her.
Beyond taking a crash course in New York State and its politics, Nixon also needs to look at the roadmap of Cuomo’s last Democratic challenger and plot a detour. Zephyr Teachout exceeded most expectations by taking home 34 percent of the vote in 2014. The political neophyte did very well upstate but was walloped by Cuomo in New York City – particularly among African-American and Latino voters. It’s no surprise that the first appearance by Nixon the Candidate today is at a predominantly-black church in Brooklyn.
But Nixon also can’t afford to write off upstate cities – areas where Cuomo could also potentially dominate and have valuable pockets of Democratic voters.
Cuomo’s worst enemy may not be Nixon -- but himself. Not exactly the kind of guy who you’d want to share a foxhole with, the governor would be smart not to panic during the first time he comes under fire. He’d be smart to follow his playbook from 2014 and ignore his new opponent as much as possible until the summer heats up.
Besides all of the maneuverings, there are real issues to discuss: The MTA, the upstate economy, and ethics reform all quickly come to mind. While it’s debatable if Cuomo has done enough on any of these fronts, what can Nixon say to make voters think she’d do a better job?
Miranda would bear down and nerd out, speed read 500 books about New York, interview a team of wise women and men, and prepare flash cards for every city in the state. We’ll see what Cynthia does.