So a perfectly serious fellow, writing in an eminently serious newspaper, is touting Andrew Cuomo for president.
Cue the “Jaws” theme — only this time arranged for toy timpani and kazoo, because while Cuomo may not be a truly great white shark, all the other fish in the tank are guppies, so maybe he matters.
This seems to be the reasoning of James Freeman, writing in the Wall Street Journal, who says he draws his inspiration from Albany newspaper columnist Chris Churchill — a serious fellow in his own right, never mind his circumstances.
Both men tremble before the prospect of a Joe Biden-Donald Trump rematch next year — as all righteous citizens should — and they view the former governor as well-positioned to prevent such a catastrophe.
To be clear, they’re not rooting for Cuomo actually to become president, but rather to bring a primary challenge that could draw other Democrats into the contest and, in the process, squeeze Biden out.
Well, it’s a plan. But it has problems.
- Any national Democrat so timorous as to need Cuomo for cover probably wouldn’t be an improvement over Biden, so why even bother?
- People who think Mario’s first-born would do anything without a direct, immediate and tangible benefit to himself is mistaken. The fellow is not in the stalking-horse business.
- There is that, umm, “killing-grannies-and-pinching-fannies” business. If Cuomo’s 2021 resignation demonstrates anything, it’s that progressive Democrats are pretty handy with a cudgel — and the party’s Obamaite wing clearly is calling the shots these days.
- The only law governing American politics for the past three decades or so is Murphy’s Law. That is, it’s not inconceivable that the fellow actually could end up in the White House — and who’s willing to risk arming Andrew Mark Cuomo with nuclear weapons? The fellow’s memory is too long, and his resentments run too deep.
And then there is this: Presidential politicking has not been kind to New Yorkers lately.
Ludicrous candidacies by Bill de Blasio and Kirsten Gillibrand made no ripples in 2020 — and while Mike Bloomberg carried American Samoa in a primary landslide that year, it cost him $550 million to do so and nobody noticed anyway.
But here’s the question: if not Andrew, then who? In a party led by pygmies, the tall guy stands out, right?
But does that mean a 40-year career marked by duplicitous self-service, campaign-finance double-dealing, cascading policy disasters and all those tight hugs shouldn’t matter?
Sure, he presents better than New York’s incumbent governor — but that’s not hard and, anyway, he picked her in the first place.
Sure, he speaks in complete sentences, has an adult attention span and probably is still awake after 8 p.m.
And, most assuredly, he isn’t that other megalomaniac from Queens.
But let’s face it: Not being Kathy Hochul, Joe Biden or Donald Trump should be no rationale for even a tactical presidential campaign.
And if it is, then the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave is in far more trouble than most imagine.
Heaven help us all.