No one can accuse Andrew Cuomo of not 'no'-ing his mind about running
"Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it" is an appropriate way to describe Joe Biden's candidacy for the Democrat nomination. From the beginning, the Democrat establishment, both inside and outside the media, tagged Joe as their guy.
Sure, the Democrats flirted with Kamala, Cory, Elizabeth, Pete, Julián, and even Bernie, but at the end of the day, they returned to good old Joe. They were pretty sure they could keep the lid on stories about plagiarism, corruption, and sexual assault. What mattered was that Joe was a familiar face who had managed to maintain a good reputation over the decades, primarily because of his association with Barack Obama. Whatever else Joe was, he was "electable."
What the Democrats hadn't banked on was the March of Time. While Joe was never the brightest bulb in the box, he was competent and could be counted upon to hold his own on television and in debates. Indeed, Democrats still get a smile when they remember him eating Paul Ryan alive during the vice presidential debate in 2012.
Now, though, Joe Biden is a shadow of himself. With every passing day, his mental decline is becoming more apparent. His verbal missteps can no longer be blamed on fatigue, stuttering, or Joe's gaffe-o-matic history. Joe is a man showing all the signs of incipient dementia.
To speak of dementia doesn't mean that Joe has full-blown Alzheimer's or some other serious cognitive disease. It just means that age has finally caught up with his brain. His handlers can give him lots rest and, for special occasions, prop him up with exciting drugs, but over the long haul, he's not capable of running a campaign, let alone being a president.
The Democrats are now in a quandary. If Joe cannot complete the campaign, whom else do they have? Bernie Sanders would say, "Hey, guys! You've got me. After all, I'm second only to Joe in the number of delegates in the primaries, and I've got a fanatic following."
The Democrats know, however, that Bernie's following won't matter in the national elections. There are enough sane Americans to keep from the White House an open socialist who insists on praising totalitarian dictators.
So it is that the nation's Democrat eyes are turned to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is giving solid press conferences as his state deals with a COVID-19 crisis that rivals Italy's. Katrina vanden Heuvel, the heiress-turned-communist, gives voice to the Democrats' hopes for a Cuomo moment:
Andrew M. Cuomo is having quite a moment. Using the bully pulpit that the first Gov. Roosevelt, Theodore, made famous, the current governor of the Empire State hopes to emerge as our era's equivalent to the second Gov. Roosevelt, Franklin. It's an astounding, complex transformation brought on by the coronavirus crucible, and the nation is transfixed.
The pandemic is Cuomo's Great Depression. Unlike our juvenile president, Cuomo has been clear, compassionate and inspiring these past weeks. He has taken the words of Franklin Roosevelt to heart (and to Twitter): "The news is going to get worse and worse before it gets better and better, and the American people deserve to have it straight from the shoulder."
Cuomo has captured the nation's attention. Millions of Democrats, and no doubt many independents, are asking why he is not the Democratic nominee for president. The answer lies in the contradictions that this remarkable politician has never been able to resolve.
If Cuomo can find it within himself to embrace that fundamental belief, in word and deed, he will be the leader that the Democratic Party, and the nation, need.
That's quite a love letter. The Democrat Party's serpentine rules even provide a way to get Cuomo on the ticket. Apparently, this would involve nominating Biden and then having him bow out, with the party elders replacing Joe with Cuomo.
The problem is that this won't fly with women. After all, Joe promised them that a woman would be second on the ticket. (Funnily enough, no one seemed bothered either by the tokenism of that promise or by Biden's antiquated assumptions about sex.) Bernie, Pete, Elizabeth, Cory, Kamala, Amy, et al., might also have an objection to this approach.
Additionally, putting Cuomo on the ticket would mean his abandoning New York in its hour of need — and it's this hour of need that is the only thing that's giving Cuomo the shiny quality that's currently attracting desperate Democrats. Take away the virus, and you end up with a governor who wasn't very popular before the coronavirus and will eventually have to explain how he allowed his state to get so explosively out of control.
Most importantly, though, it appears that Andrew Cuomo really, really, really does not want to run for president. In a bizarre and uncomfortable interview with his brother Chris, Cuomo had only one word when Chris repeatedly pressed him about running for president: no! Moreover, the governor played the good party soldier by heaping praise on Biden, even though he must know that Biden is sidelined, irrelevant, and senile:
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he has no plans to ever run for President, has not considered it, and will never consider it. https://t.co/igWoHEPPNm pic.twitter.com/fv1bVgfSNm— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) March 31, 2020
A wise man, and we can only hope that he sticks to this resolve. Trump would destroy Cuomo, who would be an underfunded, unvetted, and unprepared candidate.