How Will Transparency Play In 2016?
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Trying to figure out what the big issues of the 2016 presidential campaign will be is a lot like trying to guess next week’s winning lottery numbers.
In other words, it is impossible.
And while the Capitol press corps debates whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s penchant for secrecy in certain areas (his use of untraceable PIN-to-PIN messaging, the removal of documents from public view) will resonate with voters at all, there’s another constituency that matters come four years from now: the national political operative class.
Ken Lovett, who broke the PIN story earlier, addresses this issue today in his Monday column, noting that the national impact of Cuomo’s lack of sunlight is minimal at best and that operatives believe the secrecy stuff is the product of bored reporters. Interestingly enough, they seem more interested in the relatively provincial matter that is the governor’s good handling of the Con Ed labor dispute, which the administration would certainly wish we would all focused on instead.
As Fred Dicker at The New York Post reports today, the Albany political class doesn’t seem to care much, either. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver tells him it’s a “ridiculous criticism.” (Silver, of course, is known for operating with his cards quite close to his vest and probably wouldn’t begrudge a fellow pol the same).
But Ken’s column today is different than what the folks at Crain’s reported last week, who found unnamed insiders to forecast that the transparency meme will come back to bite him in a Democratic primary, should Cuomo indeed run four years from now.
So what to make of all this?
What the political operatives around the country care about isn’t necessarily good government, but how much money you have. Cuomo has a lot of it — nearly $20 million in the bank. Though he won’t be able to translate that cash to a national campaign, it’s a sign of strength, especially if he is able to successfully carpet bomb whichever hapless Republican runs against him in 2014 and rack up a huge, headline-grabbing victory.
If he runs in 2016 (and, let’s face it folks, that’s still a major “if” for a number of reasons and factors such as whether Hillary Clinton runs and who actually wins the current contest) the political landscape will have been washed away and reshaped multiple times. Cuomo is achieving a lot in a short period of time and it’s clear that an overarching national theme will be he governed an ungovernable state and got results.
That is, in part, why the governor’s Con Ed victory was so important last week. Cuomo was beaten up over the course of multiple news cycles on transparency and then comes up with a move that burnishes his argument for why he should be in charge.
But think about Mitt Romney and his successful passage of the Massachusetts health care law — did he ever think that would come back to bite him in a presidential run? Probably not.
It’s impossible to tell whether Cuomo’s secretiveness will play poorly in Iowa, where voters want to hear you pander about corn subsidies, not your timely response to FOIL requests.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on July 30, 2012 at 11:34 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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