Could Donald Trump's win last week mean big things for Governor Andrew Cuomo four years from now? The governor says "no," but his actions may indicate otherwise. Zack Fink filed the following report.
The plan for Andrew Cuomo and most New York Democrats was to have one of their own in the White House for the next eight years. Hillary Clinton, after all, used to represent New York in the U.S. Senate and has a home in Westchester.
But that plan didn't pan out, and now those who might have thought their place would be on the sidelines when it comes to national politics might also sense new opportunity, including Cuomo.
"The governor's name definitely comes onto the list, and that indeed provides an opportunity," said David Birdsell of Baruch College. "Although once again, we would have a presidential race with two New Yorkers. We are a long way away from figuring out if that happens."
A few days after the election, Cuomo published what he called an open letter to the Daily News, saying he will stick up for the rights of New Yorkers who feel marginlaized by Trump's victory.
The letter said, "I will fight against the targeting of Muslims, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and for the rights of all Americans every day I hold office and every day after that."
A day later, Cuomo made an unnanounced visit to Union Square to join New Yorkers who were posting messages about the Trump victory on the walls of a subway station.
Whatever happens in 2020, there is likely to be a competitive Democratic primary, unlike this past time when Democrats essentially cleared the field for Clinton, even though many believed she was a weak candidate. Bernie Sanders led an insurgent primary, but ultimately fell short. Other Democrats opted not to get into the 2016 race, including Cuomo.
"This does give him a pathway. It gives all ambitious Democratic politicians a pathway," Birdsell said. "And we are going to see, I think, a significantly new field. No Bernie Sanders. No Hillary Clinton. No Joe Biden. And of course, no Barack Obama. So what does that Democratic field look like? Time will tell."
Cuomo was asked about his future plans Thursday.
"I'm doing the best job I can as governor. I'm up in two years, and I'm planning on running for re-election in two years," he said. "We have a lot of good stuff going on."
Of course, he can run for re-election and still seek the presidency in 2020.