ANDREW IS OUT OF LUCK
There is a lot of luck – good and bad — involved in politics. Not only that, timing is everything. We know that Andrew Cuomo is ambitious. We know that he loved his father and that on some psychological level, he competes with Mario. We know that Mario almost made it to the tippy top of the political heap. We know that things broke Andrew’s way when Trump who is, after all, a demon, looked like he would succeed in corrupting American politics as no one ever imagined it could be corrupted. When the New York Times and CNN finally got around to doing what they had to do in calling out Trump, Andrew looked like a big winner.
CNN could not figure out what to do about Trump. He was getting so much mandatory air time and they were under the gun from so many people, they clearly figured that Andrew was the antidote. Andrew, brother of CNN’s Chris, was given air time almost every morning. He was just one of many U.S. governors, but CNN appointed him to be the unofficial spokesperson for the non-Trump rest of us. Everywhere I went, people told me how much they loved Andrew. I would often hear that they used to dislike him but now they think he is terrific. This was almost universal. When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere.
But then, something changed. First, the cable people made it clear that they would not play every Trump “briefing.” They actually started to tell the truth. As Trump rallies disappeared, so, gradually, did Andrew. The man who was ubiquitous started receding into the shadows. That’s where the timing of it reared its ugly head. Andrew was the beneficiary of Trump the bully being given so much time. Appropriately, he got credit for conquering the Covid threat in his state which was once at the top of the list for Covid infections and deaths.
Now we face the resurgence of Covid. People want to eat out and drink in bars. Some religious denominations want to congregate where they have always congregated.
At the beginning, people were asking me “Why can’t he be president?” That’s where the luck came into it. Joe Biden got the nomination by being a Cuomo-type moderate, thank heaven. Being the year of the woman and the year of Black Lives Matter, Kamala Harris was appropriately chosen to be the Veep candidate. What’s more, if Joe makes it, Kamala will be given a second term as Veep and if Joe craps out, Kamala will be the 47th president, assuming the Biden ticket wins the upcoming election. So, you can see that Andrew is out of luck, at least for now. He is certainly not going to primary a black woman.
So Andrew is writing another book. This, again, is where timing comes in. Had he published that book when he was everyone’s hero, he would have sold a lot of copies. His first book did not do well, although he got a lot of money from his publisher for writing it. We don’t know how much he got this time, but I assume it was generous. But money is not what the book thing is all about. It has become expected that every presidential candidate will have written a book. While it does not look like Andrew will be running for president, one never knows how things will break. For example, if Trump wins this election, Andrew may be next up. The polls that I am seeing don’t have Trump winning, but we’ll have to see if the totalitarian putsch many see coming is actually going to happen.
Andrew is always thinking. We know that he wants to be president and if Trump wins, you had better believe that Andrew will be the first man on the barricades.
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]