Some­one is giv­ing Cuomo good ad­vice

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Alan Chartock Capi­tol Con­nec­tion

Some­one is giv­ing An­drew Cuomo good ad­vice. He is out there, tak­ing on all com­ers on me­dia out­lets of all sorts. In con­trast with Don­ald Trump, who is avoid­ing the tough ques­tions, An­drew is look­ing pretty good. It turns out that the guy ac­tu­ally has a sense of hu­mor al­though like his late, great fa­ther, that sense of hu­mor may get him into trou­ble. For ex­am­ple, he of­ten quips about his brother, Chris. As we all know, rel­a­tives can be quite sen­si­tive and as Freud is re­ported to have said, “There is no joke.”

In a re­cent con­ver­sa­tion I had with An­drew, he play­fully re­ferred to State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, cit­ing my friend­ship with DiNapoli as we were dis­cussing the pos­si­bil­ity of raises for leg­is­la­tors. When I re­it­er­ated for the hun­dredth time that they should get a raise but be pro­hib­ited from tak­ing out­side jobs, he jumped to agree with me but took a shot at DiNapoli who sits on the com­mis­sion that will de­cide the mat­ter. Cuomo knows full well that he had to sign off on the deal to cre­ate the com­mis­sion. In the past, he has al­ways agreed about the con­gres­sional ban on out­side work. In our ra­dio con­ver­sa­tion, he said “I agree with you Alan Chartock.” He even sug­gested that we write an op-ed to­gether on the sub­ject. He couldn’t re­sist tak­ing a shot at DiNapoli, who I con­sider to be the best man in state gov­ern­ment. In any case, it was plain that An­drew was hav­ing fun with me.

It is so im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that Cuomo both com­petes with his late fa­ther, the three term gov­er­nor of New York, and takes in­struc­tion from the ex­am­ple he set. Mario, of course, was one of the great­est fake out artists in the his­tory of the state. He knew that as long as he was a vi­able pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, peo­ple would take him se­ri­ously as gov­er­nor. Once he told peo­ple that his White House as­pi­ra­tions were pie in the sky, I sus­pect he was sunk when he de­cided to run for a fourth term. After all, there is a cer­tain amount of statewide pride when your guy is as­pir­ing to the top job.

An­drew knew from day one that win­ning a third term was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult. So, he has to po­si­tion him­self to run for pres­i­dent. It was no mis­take that he just pulled down one of the top jobs in the Na­tional Gover­nors As­so­ci­a­tion. In­ter­est­ing, since An­drew Cuomo has re­ally never been known for play­ing nice with his fel­low gover­nors. Of course, the fact that he won so over­whelm­ingly in his elec­tion as gov­er­nor had to be im­pres­sive to his fel­low ex­ec­u­tives.

So is An­drew re­ally run­ning for pres­i­dent? Here’s the way I see it. He only wins among New York­ers if he does what Mario did and po­si­tions him­self as a se­ri­ous con­tender for the White House. It is un­likely that he will want to run for a fourth term, al­though if you fol­low the “he com­petes with his fa­ther the­ory,” it might be tempt­ing to show every­one that he could run and ac­tu­ally win a fourth term.

I doubt that he wants a cor­ner of­fice in some high­brow law of­fice some­where. Nat­u­rally, some Demo­crat might want to put him in their cab­i­net even though he has al­ready done that at HUD for the Clin­tons. So un­less some­one wants to make him Sec­re­tary of State or At­tor­ney Gen­eral (re­mem­ber Jeff Ses­sions?), that sce­nario is not go­ing to hap­pen. Maybe Sec­re­tary of State since he al­ready speaks a for­eign lan­guage — he speaks New York with a Queens ac­cent.

So An­drew has ab­so­lutely noth­ing to lose by play­ing the pres­i­den­tial sce­nario and no mat­ter what he says, he will do that un­less there is some se­cret in his closet that we don’t know about. You never know, right? Alan Chartock is pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at the State Univer­sity of New York, pub­lisher of the Leg­isla­tive Gazette and pres­i­dent and CEO of the WAMC North­east Pub­lic Ra­dio Net­work. Read­ers can email him at [email protected]

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