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Clinton offers his two cents on NYS budget

ALBANY -– Bill Clinton might be "happy" if his wife runs for president in 2016, but today he is absolutely thrilled with the new state budget in New York crafted, in part, by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has his own White House ambitions.

"With the second consecutive on-time budget, major reforms to save taxpayer money, and a commitment to make New York's schools the best in the nation, Gov. Cuomo is making New York's government work again, and making New York the comeback state," Clinton said in a written statement provided by the Cuomo press shop.

It’s not every day that one of Albany’s least read documents –- the Enacted Budget Financial Plan -– can be spun in such a way to churn up the White House chatter.

But Bill Clinton does not disappoint.

There’s the former president commenting not on some worldly event or major domestic issue but the New York state budget –- all in a news release in which the former leader of the free world shares billing with the likes of an executive director of an association representing counties and a building trades union leader.

It was only a few weeks ago that Clinton told a national television audience that he would be happy to see his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, run for president in four years. That set off some scrambling by Cuomo supporters who have been trying to spread the word that he should be the Democratic candidate in 2016.

There is no more routine act than publication of the legally required Enacted Budget Financial Plan, which comes out today a few weeks after the 2012 budget was adopted. It is a lengthy document, whose most favorite audience is likely Wall Street bond rating agencies and even includes a handy glossary of acronyms.

Will the former president's views on New York policy matters become a regular thing? Maybe Clinton on mandate relief? Or Clinton on legalizing mixed-martial arts bouts?

--Tom Precious

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