After Spitzer, What's Cuomo's Play?

So what does it mean for Andrew Cuomo if (when?) Spitzer goes?

Cuomo ran for governor once already and, as attorney general, never really took his eyes off the possibility of higher office, according to people who know him.

The pending ascendency of David Paterson to the governorship leads to some intriguing possibilities, namely challenging Paterson if he falters or, if Hillary Clinton goes to the White House, prevailing upon Paterson to put him in her seat. (The conversation, presumably, would go something like this: Hi David. If you appoint me, I won’t run against you. Thanks.)

Maybe that’s jumping the gun slightly? One prominent Cuomo supporter I talked to today said, “If things go ahead the way things are expected to, and Paterson becomes governor, I think that it is unlikely Cuomo would challenge Paterson.”

This supporter said, “I think that Andrew has done extraordinarily well in presenting himself to New York voters as someone who is different than the Andrew who ran for governor against Carl McCall. I think that the people would like to give David Paterson an opportunity to run for the office. I think it would be difficult for Andrew to wage a campaign.”

Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who worked for Cuomo’s 2006 Democratic challenger Mark Green, said, “We don’t know if there will be a Senate seat. That’s part of the problem.”

Sheinkopf added, “It’s obvious that Andrew Cuomo’s performance alone should guarantee him a reasonable shot at the governorship or any other office that he might want. But we don’t know what offices there will be and we don’t know what the state of Democrats will be.”

If you’ve got an opinion on this, let me know.

After Spitzer, What's Cuomo's Play?