2016 Campaign Checklist: Cuomo
A look at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s preparations for a potential 2016 presidential campaign:
Nondenial denial: "I’m sorry, I’m losing you. We have a technical difficulty. I’m running for governor of the state of New York." - Seeming not to hear a question about his presidential intentions. February, Fox Business Network.
Writing a book: Yes. "All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and in Life" is due in August. He’s making at least $700,000 on it.
Iowa visits: No. Has stayed close to home, avoids most travel that would feed speculation of campaign ambitions.
New Hampshire: No.
South Carolina: No.
Foreign travel: Yes, but not lately. Visited Israel twice in 2002 when running for Democratic nomination for governor.
Meet the money: Raised $33 million so far for 2014 re-election with support from New York City developers and financiers. Attended December 2011 California fundraiser held for his 2014 governor’s re-election campaign by advocates of same-sex marriage. Cocktails, $1,000 a ticket; dinner, $12,500 a ticket. Facing opposition in his fall re-election race from little-known Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
Networking: Sparingly. Rarely leaves New York. Did not appear at 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, choosing instead to hold a side event for New York delegates at a Charlotte hotel. Skipped last year’s national governors meeting.
Hog the TV: No, mostly avoids it, prefers radio. February appearance on Fox Business was rare exception. After being named sexiest 55-year-old by People magazine in November, called into the CNN show hosted by his brother, Chris, to rub it in. Asked why he doesn’t go on Sunday news shows, he told The New York Times, "Then you would say I’m running for president."
Do something: 2014 budget proposal calls for tax cuts for businesses, homeowners and renters. In 2013, pushed through nation’s first gun-control law after the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school massacre. Led New York’s effort to legalize same-sex marriage in 2011. Minimum wage boost, on-time budgets, teacher standards.
Take a national stand: Environmentalists nationally and the energy industry are closely watching his pending decision whether to allow fracking in upstate New York counties near the Pennsylvania line.
Baggage: Trumpets "remarkable string of accomplishments" in the state but record-high poll numbers fell in late February to about 60 percent favorable opinion, lowest level since he was elected. State economy grew at slower pace than national rate in 2012. Deflection: "I’m focusing on running this state and doing it the best I can. And that’s all there is to that." Cuomo’s first marriage to Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, ended in a public and bitter divorce in 2005. Cuomo lives with Food Network star Sandra Lee.
Shadow campaign: Overshadowed by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s shadow campaign. Considered a likely contender if Clinton ends up not running.
Social media: Few if any personal tweets; Facebook also generated primarily by staff.