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Andrew Cuomo Stanning Shows How Low the Bar Is

Just because he can handle himself like an adult during a crisis doesn’t automatically make him president material

Hey. I know you’re busy. We’re losing jobs, a virus is making us sick (or driving us crazy), the planet’s fucked, all of that. But do you have a second? I need you to look at something. First, you’ll have to remember that we’re technically in the middle of a Democratic primary to select a presidential nominee. Next, recall that Joe Biden is the frontrunner in this race, with Bernie Sanders the lone rival still in it.

Now check this out:

Ha, cool. The people who use PredictIt to gamble on world events appear to think that both Hillary Clinton (who lost the 2016 general election to Donald Trump) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (who is not running) are slightly more likely to take the nom than Bernie. That may not be encouraging for the Vermont senator, nor say much for the confidence in the DNC’s process — but it also doesn’t bode very well for Biden, who turned reclusive in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and has struggled to voice a message for the moment. At best, he is a vessel for cheap nostalgia, and his current, wildly diminished presence has done less than jack shit to allay our quarantine anxiety. 

Gov. Cuomo, however, is “the politician of the moment,” per The New York Times. His state an epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, he’s giving daily briefings, ripping federal response as inadequate and keeping it light when his brother Chris interviews him on CNN. He and Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, are the two most-trusted Americans on the subject of the pandemic, according to one online poll. His fact-forward, no-nonsense approach to the crisis has endeared him to the New York media class, inspiring listicles and memes, confessions of only half-ironic crushes and even the hashtag #PresidentCuomo. It must be that he’s filled the vacuum of authority left wide open by Biden, an absentee standard bearer.

A few observations here. One is that certain #Resistance folks are primed to bail on Biden yet so anti-Bernie that they’d rather gas up a dude who isn’t on primary ballots, which I guess means they hope for a brokered convention after both other guys succumb to the ’rona? Second: Biden’s incoherence merely amplifies the unexamined centrist desire, first heightened by Trump, for “any functioning adult” in office, almost regardless of politics — where “functioning adult” can often be taken to mean a daddy who sounds reassuring and stern on TV. Third, Cuomo’s local heroism probably doesn’t scale any more than Rudy Giuliani’s connection to 9/11 helped him win a Republican primary. Lastly, and by far most importantly, the rest of his record seriously blows:

My opinion? Don’t write someone’s ticket to the White House based on a week’s worth of press releases, quit fantasizing about a monumental “twist” to the 2020 election like it’s something you’d binge on Netflix, and try to keep the bar raised above “a man who doesn’t literally shit his pants in an emergency” when shopping around for your next dear leader.

If a person showing a finer grasp of reality than either Donald Trump or Joe Biden is enough to let you overlook their glaring flaws, you might just be the kind of sucker who got us where we are. And here’s your chance for redemption! Be a little cynical this once — I promise it always makes you look smarter in the long run.