Sources close to former Vice President Joe Biden are telling The Chronicle that he has tapped Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve as Secretary of State in his administration. We are told Cuomo has agreed to the appointment, which they hope to announce formally just days before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul has asked businessman Howard Zemsky to chair a gubernatorial transition committee, which is being quietly assembled in real time. It’s being rumored that the committee will include Niagara County Republican Chairman Rich Andres and former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Andres is a close ally of Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt. The appointment is seen as a significant political rapprochement, as Hochul will need moderates and centrists to secure reelection from likely Republican challenger Marc Molinaro, the popular and successful Duchess County Executive.
It’s expected that Hochul will be required to fend off a large field of rabid downstate primary challengers on the far left — many of whom are expected to appear on minor party lines in 2024.
Former gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, Councilman Jumaane Williams, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and State Senator Liz Krueger are all expected to wage primary challenges for the Democratic Party nomination. It’s even been rumored that Al Sharpton is considering a run on the Green Party line.
Cuomo — who lacks experience in foreign affairs — is tentatively contemplating a world-wide diplomatic tour in February that Biden advisors are dubbing “pandemic diplomacy” in which the Governor would personally deliver crates of respirators and personal protective equipment in cargo planes to third world hospitals.
Cuomo has already been calling for new trade agreements with the European Union and may revive the Trans Pacific Partnership — though the later would be likely to infuriate exporters and domestic industrial labor in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan that consistently prove critical to winning the presidency.
As a trademark of he tenure at the Department, Cuomo plans to “heal the West’s relationship with its indigenous people” by enabling traditional indigenous governments to negotiate trade agreements on a nation-to-nation basis. At the behest of Oneida Nation leader Ray Halbriter, Biden and Cuomo have agreed to include sovereign indigenous governments in the United States and Canada to formally participate in NAFTA renewal talks, which are scheduled to occur every six years.
The Chronicle is told that Cuomo has agreed to relaunch the Office of Indian Trade — either inside the State Department or as an independent Executive Office — for the purpose of negotiating trade treaties directly with the indigenous governments of North America. Halbriter may very well end up leading that office, though that announcement would be premature.