It hasn’t taken long for the Andrew Cuomo-for-governor storyline to re-emerge.
Prior to the last few weeks, it had last been seen by the light of day in 2002, when he ran a disastrous primary campaign against then-Comptroller Carl McCall, only to withdraw shortly before the vote to avoid what would have been a lopsided defeat.
But sure enough, Eliot Spitzer’s remarkable fall from popularity—a tumble precipitated, incidentally, by a critical report from Mr. Cuomo’s office about the behavior of the governor’s aides in Troopergate—has provided fertile ground for speculation about the attorney general’s intentions toward the state’s top office.
In a story last month, the New York Post—whose coverage of Mr. Spitzer has been severely critical, and whose coverage of Mr. Cuomo has not—put the attorney general atop a list of “winners” in a story about the governor’s poor poll numbers, explaining that “a 2010 gubernatorial run becomes more likely.”
The New Yorker, in a long profile of Mr. Spitzer this week, stated the zero-sum connection between the two officials more explicitly, saying of Mr. Cuomo’s Troopergate role that “he may as well have announced his candidacy for governor in 2010.”
And a recent New York Sun article cited an unnamed source “close to the governor” saying that Mr. Spitzer’s disastrous plan to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens “would help them ward off a Democratic primary challenge” by Mr. Cuomo.
There’s certainly no reason to think that Mr. Cuomo has lost any of his famous (infamous?) ambition. But to be fair to him, there’s also no evidence that he’s got anything directly to do with the talk, just one year into the governor’s first term, of appearing at the top of the ticket in 2010.
Amy Dowell, the sole employee at Mr. Cuomo’s re-election campaign, Cuomo 2010, referred questions to the attorney general’s office. Attorney general spokesman Jeffrey Lerner declined to comment.