Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 15, 2012

Cuomo, possible 2016 hopeful, keeps a low profile

Niagara Gazette — ALBANY — If New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on the Democrats' short list for president in 2016, he certainly isn't acting like it.

He hasn't been a high-profile surrogate for President Barack Obama. He hasn't campaigned for endangered Democratic congressional candidates since before last June's primary. He barely stopped by the Democratic National Convention, limiting his face time to a breakfast speech to the New York delegation miles from the convention's stage.

Cuomo won't talk about running for president in 2016 and says he's not even thinking about it.

He has said he's too busy with his agenda and a stubborn unemployment rate that continues to hover above the national rate. He's also joked, "I've seen this movie before," referring to the constant speculation that hampered his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo. In Albany, even the most ambitious governor plans two full terms before moving toward a presidential run, and the national attraction of an old-name, Northeastern Democrat has been shown to be questionable in recent cycles.

"I'll do what I can to help re-elect President Obama," Cuomo told reporters, "but my job is being governor of the state of New York, and that's a job that's done in the state of New York."

Some of those closest to him swear he's not going to run in 2016, although few if any believe them. But if he's trying to fly under the radar as a potential presidential candidate, it's working. And some observers say that might be by design.

"It's smart," said Hank Sheinkopf, a national political strategist who worked for the Clinton administration. "Looking at a quiet role at the convention doesn't mean Andrew Cuomo isn't interested in 2016. It means Governor Cuomo is avoiding controversy and too much exposure too soon ... Why get into the headlines when you don't have to? Get your job done."

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