November 19, 2012

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It's not often we see someone in the progressive media blast an establishment Democrat, and one with national aspirations, as completely and as thoroughly as Chris Hayes did this weelend with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

CHRIS HAYES: So what do we know that we didn’t know last week? We now know that Democrats cannot count on New York’s supposedly Democratic governor as an ally and every Democratic primary voter in the country should know that too. We already knew that in the run up to the election, Andrew Cuomo, whose aspirations for national office are well-known, did essentially nothing to aid the Democratic Party in its quest to take back the the State Senate from Republicans.

Hayes then lists some reasons to be wary of Cuomo, who he believes is putting his personal ambitions above his constituents wishes. The strange case of Simcha Felder, elected to the New York Senate as a Democrat but who recently announced he would caucus with Republicans instead, is for Hayes more damning evidence.

Despite the fact that he’s the leader of the Democratic Party in the state, and wishes someday to be the Democratic nominee for President, Cuomo has refused to intervene with Felder, saying he won’t insert himself into the controversy. Watching all this unfold, one can’t help but suspect Andrew Cuomo actually does not want a Democratic majority in the State Senate because a Republican majority gives him more of an opportunity to burnish his bipartisan compromiser bona fides before launching his presidential campaign. And much, much, much more insidiously, we suspect he doesn’t want a Democratic majority because said majority stands ready to pass a whole raft of incredibly important, ground-breaking progressive legislation, including public financing for elections, marijuana decriminalization and a minimum wage hike, among others. The governor says he favors all those policies, but in this case, he sure is not acting like it. We’re almost entirely sure that very soon Andrew Cuomo will be coming before many of the people watching this show, asking for your support in a Democratic primary race to be the next president. You should remember this remarkably cynical display when he does.

(h/t Politicker for the transcript.)

If, as expected, Cuomo does run in 2016 for the Democratic nomination he would likely be the leading candidate if Hillary Clinton doesn't run. He would also be able to raise a ton of money, far more than anyone else. And if Republicans can no longer win the presidency a moderate, business-friendly Democrat might suit them just fine.

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