The Capitol Connection w/o 082613

ALBANY, NY (08/26/2013)(readMedia)-- The Capitol Connection w/o 082613

Anyone who doesn't believe that 55-year-old Andrew Cuomo wants to be President of the United States had better consult a professional mental healer.

Right now, it would appear that the guy has no immediate chance because fellow New Yorker, Hillary Clinton, has the inside shot. The polls show that she'd clean Cuomo's clock, even in a New York State primary. He knows that -- he told me so. But what if Hillary makes a misstep? As the frontrunner, she is a target. Newspaper articles are being written about the hard times at the Clintons' foundation. The Republicans are scared to death of her.

My bet is that she will certainly be the Democratic candidate but just for the fun of it, let's pretend that for one reason or another she decides not to run. Would Andrew Cuomo ascend to the top of the list? Granted, he's very popular in New York but hold on. There's this other guy, Vice President Joe Biden, former United States Senator, who is known to have his eye on the race. It's hard to tell a sitting Vice President that he can't run, especially since he's been polling very close to the popular Clinton.

Andrew was Secretary of HUD in the Clinton administration and it wouldn't do for the younger Cuomo to turn on Hillary. In fact, it would convince some folks that Andrew is ruthless. It might remind people of the time, years ago, that he tried to wrest the gubernatorial nomination from Carl McCall at the last minute, despite the fact that McCall had the whole thing sewn up. Cuomo ended up with a lot of egg on his face when he tried that.

Upon assuming the governorship, Andrew went to great lengths to assure all of us that he was the new Andrew. He was no longer his papa's front man, with a well-deserved reputation for being a tough guy. What's even more interesting is the fact that when polled, New Yorkers don't want Andrew to run for President despite the fact that they give him very high marks for the job he's doing now. But he will be able to argue that that like FDR, he showed real leadership in New York State. After all, he brought the budget together in a prudent fiscally conservative manner, passed a sensible gun law and created an important ethics commission, even though it has yet to distinguish itself.

But all is not quite right for Andrew who is trying to establish himself as someone who doesn't fight for the sake of fighting. One has to look no further than the way he treats the excellent state Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli. Cuomo has unleashed his top guns to perform a very questionable audit on the Comptroller. No one can really figure out what this is about. Some theories posit that since DiNapoli has been coming out with tough but fair audits on some of Cuomo's agencies, the governor is just getting even. It certainly appears that Cuomo has been gunning for DiNapoli, even refusing to endorse him when they ran together. Now we hear that a top Cuomo aide may run against DiNapoli in a primary. Another theory floating around is that Cuomo so dislikes Speaker Sheldon Silver that he wants to politically kill Silver's friend, DiNapoli. Yet another possibility is that the always politically astute Andrew wants an ethnically balanced ticket without a second Italian running on the same line with him. Andrew's risk, of course, is that he will be perceived as a bully, ganging up on the popular DiNapoli.

Cuomo has a lot going for him but he has to watch out for potential character flaws that may end up doing him in. Hey, if you want to be President that's the kind of stuff that can kill you.