Mayor Andrew Cuomo?
Thinking through his chances
In the Nation, I wrote about the sexual assault allegation against Eric Adams, and why it hasn’t gotten much attention.
Andrew Cuomo is back. He is either as back as he’s ever going to be or ramping up for a return to glory that will, he hopes, entirely rewrite his obituary. Cuomo’s allies are floating his candidacy for mayor of New York City and he’s happily playing along. He might have a podcast few listen to, but he’s offered a microphone through Fox 5 and other friendly outlets. He recently published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. His comeback pitch has logic to it: the city has been mismanaged and someone (me, Andrew M. Cuomo) can do it better. He says he will not run against the shambolic Mayor Eric Adams. He seems to be banking on Adams getting indicted and then resigning, triggering a rarely seen special election for mayor. Into that void he would go, besting a packed field of candidates. A poll from Slingshot Strategies found him beating out Jumaane Williams, the public advocate, and a host of other candidates in the ranked-choice voting election.
Is this it? Will Adams fall and will it be Cuomo to take his place? The progressive left shudders. I have my own opinions about Cuomo—I wrote a whole book about him—and I am not convinced he would make a very good mayor of New York. He does have technocratic bona fides, as someone who served as governor for nearly 11 years before resigning in disgrace, and that would be appealing to the large number of New Yorkers who just want to see the city managed well again. Adams has no new initiatives of note and budgets terribly. He is simultaneously alienating business-friendly moderates and progressives worried about deep cuts to social services. He is, according to one poll at least, the most unpopular mayor in modern times.
There are reasons to believe Cuomo can actually run for mayor and win. And there are plenty of reasons—glaring ones—to suspect Cuomo, once push comes to shove, either won’t run at all or will fail if he attempts another electoral campaign.