Political consultant Dick Morris, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should not be written off as a possible Democratic presidential candidate.
Cuomo has emerged in the national spotlight as one of the most outspoken Democratic governors whose states are facing a battle with the coronavirus and has not been shy about taking on the Trump administration.
As such, his name has been mentioned often as a possible Democratic presidential candidate despite the fact that he has said he has no plans to seek the office.
Morris said that Cuomo’s rise in popularity, coupled with the disintegration of the momentum propelling former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, could mean that Cuomo will eventually become the nominee.
“Cuomo has been doing very well with his daily press event,” Morris said, noting that the “heart-wrenching drama” of New York’s coronavirus saga has been attracting “vast audiences” and “tremendous sympathy.”
Although Biden is often referred to as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee because he is far and away the leader in the race for convention delegates, Morris said Biden still has a ways to go put a lock on the nomination.
“It is perfectly possible for Cuomo to replace Biden as the nominee,” he said. “Biden has at the moment about 1,200 delegates, but you need 1,900 to win the nomination. And most of the states have postponed their primaries.”
Morris noted that many states with April primaries have postponed them until June 2, creating, in effect, a second Super Tuesday.
“New York, with over 200 delegates, has postponed its primary until June 23, the last in the country. I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” he said.
“I think Cuomo may have postponed it so that he would increase his chances. You could have a write-in movement for Cuomo,” Morris said.
Such an action would spare Cuomo the necessity of setting up a committee or campaigning for the nomination as more than 20 other contenders did.
“He could win, and he could win enough delegates to win the nomination,” Morris said.
He said the former vice president’s litany of campaign gaffes has shown that Biden is “not up for the job.”
“He’s just lost it,” Morris said, adding that Cuomo “has been, I think, very, very effective.”
Morris said if Cuomo gets in the race, it would mean a major adjustment for President Donald Trump.
“Cuomo would be a very different order of magnitude opponent than Biden was,” he said.
However, some commentators predict that once the virus fades from the headlines, the reasons many Democrats don’t embrace Cuomo will reappear.
“The Democratic Party has spent the past two decades moving away from its New Deal values and refusing to unequivocally stand up for working people — and Governor Cuomo embodies this shift to the center,” Monica Klein, a New York-based progressive Democratic strategist, said, according to The Guardian.
“The governor has consistently led New York as a corporate Democrat — slashing funding for hospitals, public schools and affordable housing instead of raising taxes on the wealthy,” Klein said. “If Democrats want to take back the White House, we need to once again become the party for working people — and leaders like Cuomo are doing the exact opposite.”
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