November 14, 2012

Cuomo in 2016? Speculation Begins as 2012 Election Ends

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That was fast.

Less than a week after Barack Obama trumped Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, political insiders are already talking about the prospect of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) running for the office in 2016.

A poll released Nov. 8 by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm, placed Cuomo third in the 2016 Iowa caucuses behind Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden, according to Gannett News Service.

Time magazine this week also put the governor on a short list of 2016 candidates, calling him “the rough-hewn son of a Democratic icon.”

Buzz around a potential Cuomo bid for the presidency has been building long before Election Day. Both Obama and Romney acknowledged Cuomo’s supposed aspirations for higher office at this year’s incarnation of the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner in October.

“I’m pleased to once again to see Governor Cuomo, who’s already being talked about for higher office,” Romney said at the event, according to ABC News. “A very impressive fellow, but he may be getting a little ahead of himself. Let me get this straight, he’s had one term as a governor, he had a father who happened to be a governor, and he thinks that’s enough to run for president?”

Cuomo has made a concerted effort to avoid the appearance that he is already looking to the White House. The governor has never left the state overnight since he assumed office in January 2011, and has avoided appearing on national political shows and stepping foot in swing states.

A run by Cuomo could potentially put him at odds with another “titan” of New York politics. Though she has refused to disclose her future plans, Hillary Clinton is widely seen as the frontrunner in the 2016 race. Her commanding fundraising power would pose a threat to Cuomo’s own strong ability to fundraise, according to Politico.

“Who knows how to raise money better than the Clintons?” Bill Lynch, a former New York City Deputy Mayor and longtime ally of the Clintons, told Politico.

Whether Cuomo and Clinton will both throw their hats into the ring is the “$64 billion question,” according to John Catsimatidis, a major NYC fundraiser who supported Clinton in 2008 and Romney in 2012. So far out from the presidential election, he told Politico, “I don’t know and I don’t think anyone does.”

Original Author: David Marten