THE CAPITOL CONNECTION: Cuomo lacks friends… or maybe he doesn’t

So will he or won’t he? That’s the question. Will Andrew Cuomo get back in the political game? Of course he will. His father taught him to never give up and that is enough to make him try a comeback. Look at it this way: what else does he have to do with his time? A lawyer he is, but a brilliant lawyer he may not be. Put another way, he is probably a better politician than he is a lawyer and I suspect he’ll try to continue doing what he does well.

In a recent poll, he was only seven small points behind Kathy Hochul. It really is unbelievable. Hochul has to know that she can’t afford to make costly mistakes. In fact, open warfare seems to have become a reality between Hochul and the legislative leaders. There are some things not to write in a column, just too dangerous. Carl Heastie, the Assembly speaker, and Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the majority Leader of the New York State Senate, are both people of color. Then we have the white, electorally untested former Lieutenant Governor who acceded to the top spot when lightning struck unexpectedly. So what is Andrew thinking? His problem is that he’s friendless. In order to make new friends to support him politically, he would have to change his personality. I don’t think that’s possible (see Freud) and I have to say, I know him better than you do, no matter who you are.

It is interesting that Black voters seem to like Andrew, which puts him ahead of the game. Despite the fact that the legislature seemed all in on impeaching Andrew, the middle class establishment types who are solidly behind Kathy Hochul may find themselves on the wrong side of the political fight that is sure to occur if Andrew takes on the governor. He would have to run as a third party candidate. Lee Zeldin, the presumed Republican nominee, is not George Pataki. He can’t and won’t win. He’s a Trumper and unlikely to garner a lot of New York middle class, centrist voters.

As Andrew Cuomo was ignominiously tossed from power, we clearly saw he was lacking friends. Everyone ganged up on him and his detractors will do anything to keep him from regaining power. Trust me, this is a man who never, ever, ever forgets the wrongs that were done to him. So what coalition can Andrew put together that will allow him win? Heastie and Cousins seemed ready to go along with impeachment during the final days of Cuomo. However, I’ll bet that if they find that the wind is blowing in favor of Andrew and Black voters support him, they will think twice before they risk all by alienating these supporters.

So here is Andrew with a lot of money in his coffers, a great number of supporters who will do what they have to in order to see him succeed and, incredibly, name recognition which just won’t quit , especially when compared to that of Kathy Hochul. You don’t need a crystal ball to figure out what must be going on in Andrew’s mind right about now.

Of course, Andrew doesn’t have a clue about how to attract the people who might help him in another quest for the governorship. Knowing him as I do, I would put money on his coming out of political retirement. If that happens, there are going to be a lot of nervous politicians who know all about Andrew’s “take no prisoners” approach to governance. There are many who believe that Andrew hasn’t got the guts to get back in the game. He may not be all that smart, but he sure has guts and sometimes that’s all you need.

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