Some don't think so.
Will Gov. Cuomo be backing the Republican candidate for president next year?Cuomo has essentially been a clone of Chris Christie, minus the viral videos and hostility from the media. He's played it smart and become a legitimate contender down the road, something I never thought I'd say. Actually, I'd take him over Obama right now given the choice.
Certainly not openly. But privately, that could be another matter.
Two nationally prominent Republicans, in an assessment that's begun being whispered in some Democratic circles, contend it's in Cuomo's political interest for President Obama to be defeated next year.
"If I'm Gov. Cuomo, I want to see Obama defeated rather than re-elected in 2012," said GOP pollster/strategist John McLaughlin, whose New York-based company boasts a top-flight client list that includes House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
"The question is, 'Would Cuomo rather run in 2016 against a first-term Republican or in the aftermath of a second term of Obama, the most left-wing president we may have ever seen, with economic policies that harm the private sector with massive tax increases and a homeland-security path that includes hostility to Israel?' "
McLaughlin continued, "Cuomo has a different, far more moderate, model where he has cut spending, didn't raise taxes, capped property taxes and hasn't engaged in the class-warfare, anti-Wall Street rhetoric that the president has used.
"A second term for Obama with the same policies he has now would probably be a political catastrophe for the nation and the Democrats. If there's four more years of Obama, you don't want to be Cuomo running for president as the leader of the Democratic Party."Cuomo may not be the only Democrat hoping Obama goes away. In all likelihood the Democrats will be losing the Senate in 2012, the GOP will retain the House and he'll be an immediate four-year lame duck. He won't be able to govern and judging by his childish behavior of late, his belligerence will only increase. I surmise plenty of Democrats would breathe a sigh of relief if he announced tomorrow he won't be running next year. The problem is his massive ego would never allow that. Besides, he's got a lot more parties, vacations and golf to squeeze in before he returns to private life.
Cuomo may already be holding back full-fledged support for Obama. When pressed on where he stood on the president's demand for higher taxes on the wealthy last week, the governor responded with a tepid, "I tend to agree with the president's position."
Former US Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, a lobbyist with strong ties to the Washington political establishment, said, "If President Obama loses next year, Cuomo immediately comes to the fore.
"Cuomo will be the power in the Democratic Party because he has done it in a great state, he stabilized the economic situation, took on some of the Democratic sacred cows and got results," said the Republican D'Amato, who backed Cuomo last year over hapless Republican Carl Paladino.
"Generally, after a president serves two terms, the public wants a change. There was an exception with Ronald Reagan, who handed off the job to his vice president. But I think there will be an incredible weariness with Obama and the Democrats if he serves another four-year term."
Some key New York Democrats have privately reached the same conclusion.
"If the governor wants to run for president in 2016, and I think he does, it would be much better for him to have a Republican in the White House for the next four years," said a prominent New York Democrat.