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Pundits cool on Cuomo's chances for presidential run

WASHINGTON -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has long been seen as a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, but political pundits don't seem all that excited about his prospects these days.

The Washington Post dropped Cuomo from ninth place in September to 10th in its December rankings of Democratic presidential prospects, citing a recent run-in between the governor and a reporter who asked a question about a sexual harassment lawsuit against Sam Hoyt of Buffalo, a former Cuomo economic aide.

In response to the question, Cuomo said: "When you say it’s state government, you do a disservice to women, with all due respect, even though you’re a woman. It’s not government, it’s society."

That prompted Post blogger Aaron Blake to write: "While others on this list have taken a step forward during the sexual harassment debate, Cuomo has taken a step back...If the current debate has shown us anything, it's that politicians would be best served not to downplay these issues when they hit close to home."

Meantime, National Review, a conservative magazine, ranked Cuomo seventh on its recent list of Democratic presidential prospects.

"Cuomo’s reputation is hard to gauge," National Review writer Matthew Continetti wrote. "His approval rating is positive, but he has made many enemies" -- including New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, another possible Democratic candidate.

Continetti also said that Cuomo's prospects depend in part on the recently passed bill restructuring the federal tax code, which sharply limits deductions for state and local taxes -- a move that could cause trouble for high-tax states such as New York.

"How he deals with the inability of his constituents to deduct mortgage interest and state and local taxes from their federal returns will count for a lot," Continetti wrote. "So will his campaign for a third term, should he decide he wants one. Can’t count him out in 2020 — but probably not wise to overestimate him either."

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