From the Right: A Cuomo political comeback?

From the Right: A Cuomo political comeback?
George Marlin

It appears that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking steps to re-enter public life.

Following his successful 2006 comeback strategy that led to his election to the New York attorney general post, Cuomo’s public activities are managed in a methodical way.

First there was the 2023 publication of “What’s Left Unsaid: My Life at the Center of Power, Politics and Crisis” by Cuomo’s longtime top aide, Melissa DeRosa.

The most important chapter is the epilogue. DeRosa exposes the shoddiness of the accounts of Cuomo’s accusers and the reports released by state Attorney General Letitia James and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Despite public threats, DeRosa points out, not one of the accusers has sued Cuomo and five district attorneys have cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Next, Cuomo has been reaching out to constituencies that have remained loyal to him, particularly African-Americans.

Just last week, he appeared at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem. In his talk, the New York Post reported he made this humorous comment: “I want you to know as a matter of full disclosure, I am a Catholic. Catholics basically believe the same teaching that Baptists believe. We just do it without rhythm. But we try. We are not as without rhythm as some of our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

Cuomo has also been writing op-ed pieces on pressing public issues.

In a December 12, 2023, in a Wall Street Journal essay titled “Migrants and the Urban Death Spiral,” he declared “the federal government sets immigration policy. It is outrageous to make cities shoulder the cost.”

“Forcing cities to pay for a migrant crisis that they have no business managing,” he added, “is government malpractice. Cities are already struggling and in crisis.”

Two weeks later, in a Post opinion piece, Cuomo went after the governor and the state Legislature for failing to address the migrant “right to shelter” issue in New York City.

“They have the state constitutional authority,” he wrote, “to establish policies such as defining who has a right to shelter, what that entails and who is responsible for the cost. The Legislature could end the current confusion and court cases by establishing a uniform migrant (and homeless) policy for the state.”

Cuomo went on to take a shot at New York City’s state legislators: “Ironically the majority … are from New York City, so they are unfairly burdening their own constituents by imposing the cost on city taxpayers alone.

This year, Cuomo has focused his attention on the MTA’s congestion pricing plan.

While Cuomo concedes he approved the congestion tolls in 2019, he does not believe the MTA should commence the program at this time.

In the Post on March 12, he answered MTA critics who accused him of flip-flopping.

Citing the depressing facts that the city “still hasn’t recovered from COVID,” “office occupancy is still only at 48.5%,” and “mass transit is still operating 29% below pre-pandemic levels,” he concluded that the MTA “must seriously consider if now is the right time to enact it.”

Cuomo asked: “What impact will an additional $15 entry surcharge have on New York City’s recovery in this moment—when the migrant crisis, crime, homelessness, quality of life and taxes are all pressing problems?”

The MTA should address his concerns before imposing the congestion toll on struggling commuters.

In the public arena, Cuomo is coming across as a “liberal with sanity”—a rare species in New York.

And many taxpayers may clamor for just such an elected leader, one who will stand up to the extreme leftist ideologues in the state Legislature or the City council.

So, if Cuomo is eyeing another run, will he take on the state’s hapless governor in 2026 or the city’s hapless mayor in 2025?

In my judgment, running for mayor is the better of the two.

In a gubernatorial primary, Cuomo and Hochul could cancel one another out, thus, permitting a radical to win with a 34% plurality.

In a mayoral primary, however, Cuomo could patch together a winning coalition of working-class whites, browns and blacks. He may even pick up the support of Upper East Side liberals who have had it with Mayor Eric Adams.

With the political knives out for Adams, 2025 may be the year for Cuomo to be the “Comeback Kid.”

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