New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s fundraising blows Governor Paterson’s out of the water:

In the first half of the year, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo trounced Gov. David A. Paterson on the fund-raising trail, taking in $5.1 million — more than twice what Mr. Paterson got, newly released campaign filings show.

The totals reinforced the growing sense of inevitability in Democratic circles that Mr. Cuomo will run for governor next year, and underscored the governor’s weakening support[…]

Mr. Cuomo has deflected the question of whether he would run for the job once held by his father. “He is planning to run for re-election as attorney general,” said Benjamin M. Lawsky, special assistant to Mr. Cuomo. “Period.”

The article goes on to describe Paterson’s clashes with state Democrats, and his behind-the-scenes conflicts with Cuomo over appointments and other party matters.

Call me crazy, but I could foresee Cuomo being a top presidential contender in 2016. He’s got love in his own state, and his national profile is on the rise after his recent Supreme Court victory, where he scored one for regulation over the bankers. A governor of New York with a populist bent, federal experience, and a reputation as a reformer? Sounds like some of the other NY governors who have ascended to the presidency.

No doubt Cuomo has some drawbacks, and I hope commenters will weigh in and let me know what they are. But his father is a big hero of mine, and probably should’ve been president. The son, if he’s picking up Spitzer’s mantle minus the scandals, could win my support as well.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that whoever will be president in 2016 is 1) already alive and among us and 2) quite possibly not currently a top-tier politician, ie governor or senator, but rather a second- or third-tier politician, like attorney general, lieutenant governor, even state senator (remember?). That’s why when I look toward the future, I look at the rising stars, not the ones currently overhead. Of those rising stars, Cuomo maybe has the most name recognition, unless you count someone like Gavin Newsom.

2016 is a long way off, of course. But let’s remember that movement conservatives started talking about Ronald Reagan as a presidential contender as early as 1964. Andrew Cuomo is a man to watch.

Alex Thurston

Alex Thurston

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