New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's aggressive State of the State Speech has fueled speculation that he's already in planning to make a bid for the U.S. Presidency in 2016. Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
With "gun control" and "women's equality" already emerging as buzzwords in talk about the 2016 Presidential campaign, Governor Cuomo appears to be positioning himself in a political "sweet spot" - fiercely tackling these issues in the verbiage of his State of the State address, excerpts of which appeared on national network t.v. evening news programs.
Some observers saw Cuomo make a "left turn" with Wednesday's speech, appeasing those who have criticized his closeness with some Republican lawmakers. His proposed "Women's Equality Act" is seen as a way to chip in to possible Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's political base - Zenaida Mendez is the president of the National Organization for Women New York State Chapter. She says "we would love to have a woman running, but this is definitely a decision in the right direction for the Governor."
Cuomo is also getting recognition for his leadership after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City. The governor has previously kept a low profile whenever the press turned to speculating about a run for the White House. WAMC's Political Observer Alan Chartock and New York City Republican State Senator Marty Golden agree that a slip of the tongue during the State of the State may have been a veiled giveaway.
Back in November, before the Presidential election, Time magazine put the Governor on its short list of potential 2016 Presidential candidates, calling him "the rough-hewn son of a Democratic icon."
Capital District Democratic State Senator Neil Breslin has no doubt that Cuomo may toss his hat in the ring. Republican Assemblyman Pete Lopez, who represents Schoharie County and portions of Chenango, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Ulster counties, says Cuomo has provided results, and that's what matters for the people of New York.
Some who follow politics expect those "results" to play a significant role if Cuomo wants to build a pathway to D.C.
The Governor's next opportunity to shine publicly comes January 22nd when he presents his budget, detailing, in the words of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, "how he's going to pay for the things he has promised to do."