When the subject of the “inevitability” of the Democratic
nomination for president going to Hillary Clinton in 2016,
those who dare to be negative to this proposition are always
and properly asked to name an alternative.
So far, the names put forward have little traction with
significant numbers of liberals and Democrats who make up
the majority of the party’s national base.
These names include Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
who is much too far to the left, former Maryland Governor
Martin O’Malley who doesn’t seem to stand for anything but
himself, former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer who is
too much of a Western populist, Virginia Senator Mark
Warner who barely survived what was supposed to be an
easy re-election, and of course, Vice President Joe Biden who
is perhaps too old and too often a joke to seriously compete
with the former first lady, senator and secretary of state in the
So who else is there?
There is just re-elected New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo is controversial and combative, as is Republican
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, but especially if the GOP
nominee is Christie, that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Cuomo is former secretary of the Department of Housing and
Urban Development under President Bill Clinton, and by most
objective accounts, served well. He is also a former attorney
general of New York. He is somewhat of a fiscal moderate,
having introduced several prudent measures in state
government in Albany, including cutting state spending without
raising taxes. He is, as might be expected from an east coast
Democratic politician, a social liberal. (In fact, his public
views in favor of abortion are on the radical side.)
Andrew Cuomo is an experienced government executive. Like
his father, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, he is
an outspoken and effective communicator. On occasion, his
bluntness has got him into political hot water.
He cannot, under the U.S. constitution, run for vice president
in 2016 if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee since she
is officially a resident of New York. (Only one resident of a state
can be on a national ticket.)
Many observers agree that if his father, then also the governor of
New York, had decided to run for president in 1992, Bill Clinton
might not have won the nomination. Mario Cuomo, however,
had no real drive for national office, either for the presidency or
for a seat on the U.S. supreme court (which was offered to him by
President Clinton). Andrew Cuomo does not seem to have any
He could not understandably allow his name to be considered
for the 2016 Democratic nomination while he was running for
re-election as governor of New York in 2014. Having won this
race decisively, he no longer is prevented from having his name
considered. It might be that he has no interest in the 2016 race,
realizing that any Democratic nominee will likely have an
uphill battle in the general election following the unpopular
Obama administration. He is relatively young at 56, and quite
able to wait until 2020 or 2024. He is divorced, has not remarried,
and has a reputation, as does Governor Christie, for playing
Recently, he and Governor Christie teamed up to declare that
travelers from Ebola-infected areas flying into New York or
New jersey could be quarantined for up to 21 days.
Mrs. Clinton’s “inevitable” campaign for president, however, is
not going well, nor has she held up well recently, traveling around
the country. She campaigned for twelve Democratic U.S. senate
candidates in 2014, and only one of them won. She is almost
100% nationally known, and she leads in most polls, but her
numbers were declining even before the midterm elections. The
Democratic Party brand has now been seriously diminished, and
the party, some might argue, needs a fresh face and voice if it
wants to have a chance to win in 2016.
Copyright (c) 2014 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.