The New York Sun says a community forum Andrew Cuomo hosted on the Upper West Side — of the sort New York pols have been hosting since Peter Stuyvesant had two legs — “Ups Speculation On His Future,” specifically that he will run for Mayor in 2009.
Of course the Sun can’t get anyone, least of all Cuomo, to speculate positively on that. And that proves he’s a candidate — why else would someone have told State Senator Tom Duane to say “I am totally focused on being the majority in the New York State Senate… That said, Andrew Cuomo is terrific” when asked about it?
The State Attorney General’s more well-known and interesting recent news has to do with his public threats against big firms such as Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and Oppenheimer for deceptive sales of auction-rate securities. This got him international coverage and is the kind of public rip-off probe that gets AGs elected to higher office, as Eliot Spitzer knew.
It also gets people’s minds off Cuomo’s Spitzer probe, which many found disappointing and even smacking of a “cover-up.”
The Upper West event was probably warm and fuzzy and maybe turned a few hearts toward Cuomo. But, alas, while all politics are local, as the saying goes, City politics are increasingly less so. Who even thought of Bloomberg as a New Yorker before he ran for Mayor? What’s wanted is some other point of distinction, like great wealth. Power does the trick too, and so does ruthlessness — again, see Bloomberg, and especially his predecessor, red in tooth and claw from his prosecutorial days onward. And Cuomo does ruthless pretty well.
Not grip-and-grins, but grab-and-shakes are Cuomo’s best bet for winning City Hall.