Forget about social distancing, Andrew Cuomo is finally ready for his closeup.
New York’s governor brought a mini-version of his COVID-19 PowerPoint presentation to the Democratic National Convention on Monday night, taking President Trump to task about how he’s handled the pandemic.
“Only a strong body can fight off the virus, and America’s divisions weakened it. Donald Trump didn’t create the initial division, the division created Trump – he only made it worse,’’ said Cuomo.
The governor’s five-minute speech was made to order for a television event that was more infomercial than political party. With no crowd, no one can fairly try to use the yardstick of his father’s famous speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention.
“Do I feel pressure from my father’s legacy? Only every day,’’ Cuomo admitted to reporters earlier in the day.
Cuomo’s remarks will likely be a footnote to Michelle Obama’s powerful closing argument on the convention’s first night. And that probably suits him just as well. If you’re not the main attraction, you can’t get bad reviews for a speech that must be delivered in a challenging format for a politician – no applause.
Cuomo spoke three times longer in 2016 at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia and no one is talking about it. Unsure if he would even attend the Democratic convention in 2012, the governor ended up going and giving a riveting speech – to the state’s delegation at its hotel.
There will be plenty of “what ifs” in Andrew Cuomo’s scrap book, including what if the pandemic struck the country at a different point in the political calendar when his poll numbers were suddenly sky-high. Instead, he’ll settle for a prime-time cameo and wonder what could happen in 2024 if the president is re-elected in November.
Right now, Cuomo looks more and more like his father – with the last stop on his political journey likely ending in Albany. And he’d probably be the first to tell you in a PowerPoint presentation, we’ve got plenty of work left to do right here.