Democrats, unsatisfied with the two frontrunners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — one of whom has disappeared into the Senate and another who hasn’t been seen in public for more than a week — are trying to start a viral movement to replace Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden with New York governor Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo has earned plenty of praise for his handling of the coronavirus, which seems to have made New York City its ground zero in the United States. He’s been complimentary to President Donald Trump, largely calm during the crisis, open in communication and, perhaps most importantly, more reliable for New Yorkers than NYC mayor Bill de Blasio who, last Monday, was still reticent to order a school closure and working out at a Brooklyn YMCA. De Blasio was finally motivated to action when his staff reportedly threatened to quit.
Now that Cuomo’s “star status” is rising, the New York Post reports, so are his chances at challenging Trump for the White House in 2020.
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily televised press briefings on the coronavirus have him looking presidential, according to some social media fans,” the Post reported Sunday, adding that many have begun using the #PresidentCuomo hashtag while the New York governor issues his daily press briefings.
“President Cuomo is really raising the bar for leadership [right now], and I’m here for it. #PresidentCuomo#CoronavirusPandemic,” one Twitter user said, echoing the trending topic.
Cuomo earned widespread praise for a commanding speech he gave Saturday, chastizing “Millennials” and “Gen Z” for continuing to go out to bars and restaurants during what is supposed to be a statewide lockdown, and lashing out at those defying orders to shelter in place to keep coronavirus from spreading further and taxing New York hospitals.
“There’s a significant amount of non-compliance, especially in New York City, especially in parks. I’m gonna go down there today, I want to see what the situation is myself,” Cuomo said, suggesting that he may go into Manhattan on Sunday to yell at people defying lockdown himself. “You are wrong.”
On Sunday, Cuomo urged President Donald Trump to “nationalize” the effort to collect and distribute much-needed medical and personal protective equipment for first responders and hospital staff who are on the front lines of the coronavirus response. States have complained that leaving the job of obtaining much-needed supplies to governors and state-level agencies forces states to compete with each other. The Trump Administration responded Sunday that even a nationalized response would not solve the shortage since its a global need, not a national one.
Cuomo may be able to fill a hole for needy Democrats who are concerned that neither of the two frontrunners, Sanders and Biden, are within striking distance of winning a majority of delegates and the Democratic nomination outright, particularly if states postpone or cancel upcoming primaries.
Democrats also seem concerned that neither Sanders nor Biden seems particularly presidential amid the coronavirus crisis. Biden says he’ll change that this week with a series of “shadow briefings” following President Donald Trump’s White House briefings, but it’s unlikely Biden, who must rely on former Obama Administration officials who have no insight into the Federal government response, will have much to say that is not a direct criticism of Trump, unhelpful in an emergency situation and potentially disasterous to a presidential bid.