Sources close to the White House are telling The Chronicle that, in late November of 2016 just days ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo privately asked then-President-elect Donald J. Trump to nominate him Secretary of State in his administration.
At the same meeting, the President-elect told Cuomo that he would consider the proposition, even noting that Cuomo had an impressive relationship with Latin America, given a widely-publicized 2015 trade mission that Cuomo took to Cuba.
Trump and Cuomo have a longstanding relationship. Trump attended Cuomo’s bachelor party when he married Kerry Kennedy. In the 1980s, Cuomo did legal work for Trump’s various real estate interests, representing Trump before State agencies when his father, Mario Cuomo, was Governor.
A few days later the Governor publicly pledged not to run against Trump in 2020, at the suggestion of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was leading the Trump Administration’s transition team. Ultimately, Trump decided to nominate Exxon Mobile CEO Rex Tillerson, who came highly recommended by former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice.
In recent weeks, senior Democrat operatives have been floating Cuomo as a potential consensus presidential nominee — someone who might be able to coalesce a majority of delegates around his candidacy in a floor fight at the Democratic National Convention.
In that scenario, prognosticators postulate that Cuomo would be ‘nearly required’ to name a woman as his running mate — and, most likely, someone with an identity politics advantage that drives up turnout in at least one more of the various factions that comprise the Democratic Party’s coalition-brand strategy. Because Cuomo is seen as a Conservative Democrat it’s also likely that he will nominate some seen as representing the progressive left.
Cuomo operatives are privately floating a shortlist, which includes Senator Kamela Harris (D-CA), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), and State Senator Stacy Abrams (D-GA). The operatives are quick to note that Cuomo is not considering men for the position, given the practical politics of a floor fight.
None of the major officials who comprise the Democratic National Committee’s organizational hierarchy feel that former Vice President Joe Biden will be capable of waging a viable campaign, given his family’s suspect relationship with China at a time when our trade policies with that Nation have seriously threatened the public health and national defense of the United States.