New York Governor Andrew Cuomo batted down rumors this week that he won’t run for president if Hillary Clinton enters the race. Cuomo said he’s not even thinking about 2016–but if he did want to run, Clinton wouldn’t stop him.
But I have to tell Cuomo that Clinton is not his biggest problem in a Democratic Primary. Andrew, it’s not her–it’s you.
Cuomo has a record of touting a few high profile liberal stances, like marriage equality, and then undermining Democrats and progressives on core principles like economic equality.
Those of us in New York have seen the results. So as a public service, today I’m offering five of the big reasons Cuomo is unlikely to win a Democratic primary.
While Democrats have been rallying to defend unions against Republican attacks in states like Wisconsin, Cuomo has been busy cutting union pensions. The Brooklyn Rail newspaper asked if Cuomo was “New York’s Scott Walker.” The battle even turned so personal, Cuomo tried to prevent four labor leaders from getting delegate seats at the Democratic National Convention, according to Politico. The governor’s aides have denied the story.
Cuomo has been battling public school teachers over a new evaluation system. He tried to withhold $260 million in school aid over the issue, a maneuver that a judge recently blocked.
Cuomo cut taxes on some of the wealthiest people in New York, an odd priority for a governor who claims to be concerned about revenues and deficits. Had Cuomo simply let New York’s millionaires tax continue, for example, it would have generated another $21 billion per decade.
2. Koch Brothers
Cuomo has received more money from the Koch brothers than any other Democrat, including $87,000 in 2010. When you have Cuomo’s stances on labor, teachers and taxes for the 1%, it’s no wonder you get love from some of Obama’s most powerful and wealthiest opponents.
And finally, the number one reason Cuomo will struggle in a Democratic Primary is Democrats!
After Cuomo’s party won enough seats to take over the legislature, he engineered a deal with independents and Republicans to prevent Democrats from taking control. The arrangement takes influence away from grassroots Democrats, and gives more power to Cuomo.
Now, that’s not automatically bad for public policy, but engineering backroom deals to undermine elected Democrats is pretty hard to sell in a Democratic primary. Just ask Joe Lieberman.
On Monday, HarperCollins announced it will publish a new book from Cuomo in 2014. Which has nothing to do with running for president, of course.