The centrist governor has thrown a few rhetorical left hooks lately regarding the economy, pro-lifers, gun owners, and conservatives. These are all policy issues, so the governor has a place to opine however he wishes. He has not been interested in, or worried about, the Republican Party since being elected governor.
After all, he had no real opposition in his race for the job. If the GOP is split and “looking for its soul,” as he has said, that should be of little concern to him. What is more likely the case is that Cuomo is looking to start raising money on a national level, and that requires drifting from the center toward the base of his party.
Cuomo may be determined not to make the same questionable decision that his father made in 1992. Governor Mario Cuomo decided at the last minute not to go to New Hampshire and declare a run for the White House.
At the time, the incumbent president was popular. Mario Cuomo changed his mind, while Governor Bill Clinton stayed in the race. The rest is history.
If you are thinking that Hillary Clinton is the de-facto Democratic Party nominee, you need to remember that nothing is ever certain. If, for some reason, Mrs. Clinton is not the nominee, Andrew Cuomo will be ready.
This time, unlike in 1992, the jet pointed toward New Hampshire will have a New York governor inside. He is amping up the hyperbole against an already dizzy opposition party just in case he makes it to Concord. If he does run for the presidency, he would be a definite favorite.
The Vladimir Show
The world has gotten smaller, and because of this foreign policy is more important than ever.
Vladimir Putin is a very interesting leader. The former KGB top man-turned-world leader gave Russia its sense of toughness back. On paper, he has the resume that reads like a cross between James Bond and George H.W. Bush.
From a political science standpoint, Putin is fascinating despite his trampling of democracy in his own country. No one, however, is more taken with him than he is. Putin loves himself, but he now risks becoming a caricature of himself.
After a series of strange events, one of which involves Putin refusing to give New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft his Super Bowl ring back, Putin is slowly becoming less of a James Bond and more of a Kardashian. He even got into a protracted dispute with a Russian pop music band.
With the winter Olympics in Russia this year, the drama is tailor made for a leader like Putin, but it is also a chance to make embarrassing political statements. One would think the main concern could well be the threat of terrorism. Terrorizing the Olympics would not even be a new tactic, unfortunately.
Instead, Putin has stated that he is concerned about gay athletes recruiting Russian children. Cultural differences aside, this is a ridiculous thing for a grown man to say.
The American diplomatic corps need not worry about being outsmarted by the Kremlin any longer. Putin may have played a few cards well while the United States was bogged down in its own foreign policy muddiness, but he is becoming a more comic figure now.
Does this mean the Russian figure skating team will likely switch neighborhoods and become Americans? Unlikely. But it does show a few cracks in the intellectual armor of the former spy leader.
George Will once described the Soviets as a Third World country with a First World army; that may still be true.