"[Bringing] New York state to balance (its budget) and he does it without raising taxes, that would bode well nationally as he would be perceived by the Democrats as a moderate Democrat and has solved a very big state's problem," said Long. He highlighted Cuomo's stances on not raising taxes, reducing the size of government, consolidation of government agencies, capping rewards on lawsuits and taking on trial lawyers as areas where Cuomo has found common ground among conservative Republicans in the state legislature.
Cuomo's management of the budget could have come right out of the Republican playbook. In proposing to streamline the state's budget, he recently argued: "Government spends too much money and it delivers too little for the people." That Clintonian rhetoric is reminiscent of Clinton's famous 1996 State of the Union speech, saying "the era of big government is over."
Cuomo's socially-progressive agenda -- he met with
GLBT activists earlier this month to discuss passing a same-sex marriage bill through the state legislature -- keeps him in line with blue-state Democratic orthodoxy that is shared by other rising stars in the party, such as Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
(D) and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley
At the same time, his ability to win over Republicans is something shared by other possible presidential contenders like Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer
(D) and Sen. Mark Warner
(D), who both consistently received
high marks among their constituents.
Is Cuomo presidential material -- in the future? He has a compelling resume: His family name is nearly universal among party activists, he showcased his fundraising abilities with a massive
haul during his gubernatorial run, he's served in the Clinton administration as Housing and Urban Development secretary, and hails from the third biggest state in the union where he's endured the bright lights of the ever-present New York media for years.
It's a long ways off, to be sure, but if Cuomo keeps up his triangulating ways, it's not much of a stretch to consider him a compelling Democratic contender for 2016.