Cuomo, the governor of New York, is building a national team and Democrats are taking notice, but can he tame his party’s far-left liberals?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is running for president. Maybe. Or maybe not. But either way, in the past few months, he’s been behaving like someone keeping his options open:
Since Mrs. Clinton’s loss, the governor has quietly courted advisers with national experience. A senior Cuomo administration aide spent time earlier this year recruiting former Obama staffers to consider working for Mr. Cuomo, people familiar with the efforts said. Maria Comella, the political strategist credited with engineering New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s national profile ahead of his 2016 run, has advised Mr. Cuomo in recent months.
Mr. Cuomo has proven a skilled fundraiser. He has more than $20 million in his campaign war chest. New donors include Steven Cohen, the billionaire investor who had previously backed Mr. Christie’s 2016 run.
Meanwhile, the New York State Democratic Party has run some $30,000 worth of ads in which Mr. Cuomo appears with U.S. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to push a college-affordability proposal.
If hiring political veterans, raising huge sums of money, and courting the liberal poster child of the progressive movement doesn’t sound like someone gearing up for bigger things, perhaps this weekend’s New York Post report will:
Gov. Cuomo has hired two Florida fundraisers, a sign he’s building a national network to launch a presidential bid, sources told The Post.
The two consultants — one is former Hillary Clinton money man Jon Adrabi — will help plan events and build relationships with Democratic donors in the key swing state, sources said.
Cuomo has and will continue to brush off 2020 speculation, and with his 2018 reelection campaign the more immediate concern, he may be able to attribute this spike in political activity to that effort.
But if Cuomo does mount a national run, he’ll first have to tame the far-left liberals who are doing their best to seize control of the Democratic Party in the Trump era:
The problem is that Cuomo, in his core, is a centrist who counts Bill Clinton — whom he served as HUD secretary — as a mentor. And he’s still viewed warily by even his own state’s institutional progressives, the progress they’ve made under his watch be damned.
With liberal darlings like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) potentially running in 2020, Cuomo may struggle to establish a foothold among the increasingly liberal Democratic Party electorate in the primaries, should he pull the trigger on a presidential run.
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