Cuomo’s Challenge

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is going to be renominated today in NY, and will almost certainly win a second term in November. But a lot of people who will vote for him on one occasion or the other think he should perhaps be taken down a peg or two, and/or don’t particularly see in him what he almost certainly sees in the bathroom mirror each morning: a future President of the United States.

A lot of progressives don’t like Cuomo’s fiscal policies and his relationships with Wall Street, and a lot of partisan Democrats don’t like the game of footsies he’s played with the Republican-led coalition that (at the moment) controls the New York Senate.

Personally, I’m one of the remarkably large number of people who over the years have been impressed negatively by Cuomo’s exceptionally high opinion of himself, and his intolerance for constructive criticism. I haven’t paid close enough attention to his tenure in Albany to adjudge whether he’s making therapeutic progress on that front, or if he still needs to be reminded now and then of his non-divinity.

If the latter is the case, Governing‘s Alan Greenblatt suggests that it will be considered a healthy rebuke to Cuomo if he fails to win 70% of the vote against financially outgunned progressive professor Zephyr Teachout. More dramatically, his designated running-mate, Kathy Hochul, could lose her Lite Gubernatorial primary to Tim Wu, who, unlike either gubernatorial candidate, was endorsed by the New York Times. And on top of everything else, progressives are challenging a couple of Democratic state senators who are past and possibly future supporters of a GOP-controlled chamber; a more progressive Senate would also represent a constraint for Cuomo. So all in all, Andy’s got more to lose than to win today.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.