Andrew Cuomo's Problem
Two things to consider for all those who are breathlessly speculating that New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo will most assuredly get the Senate nod from Gov. David Paterson:
1.) Guess who picks the new state AG if Paterson picks Cuomo? The state Assembly and its leader, the irascible and politically irritating Sheldon Silver. After Alan Hevesi was forced to resign the position of state comptroller in December 2006, Silver defied the preferences of then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer and got the Assembly to hand the post to Assemblymember Thomas DiNapoli (D-Nassau County). I'd be very surprised if Paterson would want to create a new vacancy outside of his control to fill one that's within his control.
2.) The chatter has been that if Paterson picks Cuomo, it will be because he wants to remove a potential gubernatorial rival. Missing in the fevered speculation is what happened to Cuomo when he ran for governor in 2002. Against the advice and admonitions from many in the state Democratic Party, Cuomo ran in the primary against H. Carl McCall, the African American state comptroller who would have been the state's first black governor if elected. The campaign was bruising. Cuomo eventually dropped out. His relationships in the black community ruptured. McCall, beaten and broke, was trounced by the sitting Republican Gov. George Pataki. Since then, Cuomo has worked hard to repair his relationships within the party and with black elected officials, in particular. His efforts at reconciliation and displays of humility aided his political comeback as the state's attorney general in 2007. After all that, he'd be crazy to challenge Paterson in 2012.
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