On Thursday New York Democrats will select their candidate for governor and unless the polls are wrong in a way that seems almost mathematically impossible, their choice will be Andrew Cuomo for a third time.
Then attention will turn to the general election in the fall and you can expect many an editorial or opinion column lamenting another imbalance, this one between a powerful and experienced Democrat and a Republican with a skimpy resume.
We need to expand that discussion.
Last week Barack Obama made the important point that Donald Trump is a symptom, not a cause. New York Democrats and New Yorkers in general have to start wondering about cause and effect in our state, asking if Andrew Cuomo is a symptom of something fundamentally wrong that we need to right.
When Cynthia Nixon announced that she was going to challenge Cuomo, the reaction was almost universal. How could an actress, someone with no political or government experience, have the nerve to think she could run any state, let alone one as large as New York. How could she believe that she could take on somebody as entrenched as Cuomo?
Since then we have learned that those original reactions were flawed, that somebody who is smart and shows a mastery of the issues can challenge an incumbent, even one with the formidable reputation of Andrew Cuomo. Nixon has held her own in interviews and in their lone debate, has credibly challenged the governor’s many failures,
This weekend, in the closing days of the campaign, we learned just how seriously Cuomo is taking Nixon’s candidacy, a hint to New York Democrats that they need to start re-thinking their allegiance to a man who does not show much appreciation in return.
On Sunday the grand opening of the second span of the bridge that Cuomo bullied the Legislature into naming after his father had to be delayed. It turns out that the work to dismantle the old span alongside the new one has not yet been completed, that part of it might dislodge, posing a threat to the new lanes.
Did Andrew Cuomo rush to have this photo op a few days before the vote despite the danger such an opening might pose to New Yorkers?
Of course he did. He either ignored the safety concerns or made sure that they did not penetrate his bubble. Either way, it is not much of an endorsement for a man who wants us to believe that he can handle much more complicated challenges and issues.
Then came the last-minute mailing to many Jewish New Yorkers claiming that Nixon had been "silent on the rise of anti-Semitism,” a charge that she, her rabbi, her supporters and even many of the governor’s supporters found offensive, as well they should.
They also should be offended by the leaders of the Democratic state committee, those who sent out the mailer, for trying to make us believe that it was some sort of mistake, that nobody was really responsible. Equally offensive was Cuomo’s claim that he knew nothing about it even though there is no evidence that the committee does anything without his approval.