Broken Record Edition
NY Times: “With his coronavirus briefings, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has emerged as an authoritative voice in the crisis.”
I wanted to post a follow-up to my recent piece, “Andrew Cuomo, Yes Andrew Cuomo.” https://around-the-block.com/2020/03/22/andrew-cuomo-yes-andrew-cuomo/
The New York Times published an article yesterday headlined, “How Cuomo, Once on Sidelines, Became the Politician of the Moment,” It was sub-headed, “With his coronavirus briefings, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has emerged as an authoritative voice in the crisis.”
Mr. Cuomo was once considered a bit player on the national stage, an abrasive presence who made his share of enemies among his Democratic Party peers. He was too much of a pragmatist for his party’s progressive wing, too self-focused for party leaders and too brusque for nearly everyone.
But now, he is emerging as the party’s most prominent voice in a time of crisis.
His briefings — articulate, consistent and often tinged with empathy — have become must-see television. On Tuesday, his address was carried live on all four networks in New York and a raft of cable news stations, including CNN, MSNBC and even Fox News.
In a sign of the way Mr. Cuomo has become the face of the Democratic Party in this moment, his address even preempted an appearance by former Vice President Joseph Biden on ABC’s “The View” in New York.
“He represents the kind of leadership we should have in the presidency and don’t,” said Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who said her West Coast constituents are praising Mr. Cuomo. “His stock has gone way up.”
For all of that positive press, the sudden spotlight has shone on Mr. Cuomo at a politically inopportune time: His friend, Mr. Biden, is quickly closing in on the Democratic presidential nomination, something that Mr. Cuomo — like his father, the former Gov. Mario M. Cuomo — had been said to covet.
“Stock has gone way up?” “Leadership we should have in the presidency and don’t?” “Preempting a Biden TV appearance?”
The response to my Cuomo article, where I suggested that Biden and Sanders drop out of the race and throw their support behind Cuomo, was met with, how shall I say it, mild derision.
“Pipe dream.” “Wishful thinking.” “What are you smoking?”
Here’s the deal. Trump is the worst person in the world to be leading the efforts to combat this crisis. (He’s actually the worst person in the world, period. But, I digress) Every time he opens his mouth, he makes the situation worse. The other day his forecast of “thousands of suicides” if we don’t reopen the country by Easter, was, perhaps, his best/worst prediction to date. But I guarantee it will be surpassed in short order by something more ludicrous and harmful.
Having said that, the latest Gallup poll, released Tuesday, was scary. It has Trump’s approval rating hitting 49%, matching the best performance of his presidency. This follows last week’s ABC/Ipsos poll that found 55 percent approving of Trump’s leadership in the crisis, versus 43 percent disapproving. Polls from CBS News and Monmouth University found similar results, with at least 50 percent of Americans saying Trump had done a good job handling the outbreak. So, unfortunately, we’re not seeing polling outliers here. (We ARE seeing stupidity, but that’s for another column.)
So, where does that leave us? And why am I writing about Cuomo again?
We’re in the most serious crisis any of us have been through. And we’re being led by an inept, unqualified narcissist. But, it’s an election year; we can do something going forward: If we’re all still around in November we can remove this cancer on the presidency.
But Democratic leadership is nowhere to be found. Biden is all but invisible. Bernie’s ego won’t allow him to drop out; he still wants to debate Biden on policy nuances. Nancy Pelosi has a day job trying to pass legislation. Chuck Schumer is inflammatory. And DNC chairman Tom Perez is…well, never mind.
To exemplify how ineptly the Democrats are taking advantage of Cuomo’s unparalleled leadership, I received an email this morning just as I was finishing this piece, Here’s the headline:
That’s it? That’s the best they can do? Send Cuomo a “Thank You” card? You, even I, can’t make this stuff up!
But, I bet I know what they’re doing behind the scenes. They’re wringing their hands, knowing that neither Biden nor Sanders is the strongest candidate to beat Trump. So, beyond sending cards, they should be working on doing the right thing. And that right thing is nominating Andrew Cuomo.
Making Cuomo the nominee at this point would certainly be unprecedented. But it would be bold. And it would be smart. And it would be the move that can defeat Trump.
Let me remind you. It was only a few months ago when there were scores (well, not scores, but almost two dozen) Democrats vying for the nomination. Do you remember your lament then?
“I can’t support any of them.”
“This field is too big and not good enough.”
“Is this the best we can do?”
Guess what? We found the “best we can do.” And we’re not doing anything about it.
But we are sending “Thank You” cards.
FYI, here’s a link to the Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/nyregion/governor-andrew-cuomo-coronavirus.html?searchResultPosition=2
And for you non-Times subscribers, here’s the article in PDF format:
One last thing. If you don’t believe it is the MOST IMPORTANT THING WE DO to nominate a candidate to dispose of Donald Trump, read this, from Foreign Affairs, “The Coronavirus Is the Worst Intelligence Failure in U.S. History – and it’s all the fault fo Donald Trump’s leadership.”The Coronavirus Is the Worst Intelligence Failure in U.S. HistoryIt’s more glaring than Pearl Harbor and 9/11—and it’s all the fault of Donald Trump’s leadership.