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2016 election: Is Andrew Cuomo conceding to Hillary Clinton too early?
The New York Post reports that the state's governor won't challenge Clinton if she runs
Will Cuomo call it quits?
Will Cuomo call it quits? Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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ew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo may be bowing out of the 2016 presidential race before it even gets close to starting. Frederic U. Dicker reports in the New York Post that the prominent Democrat has whispered to associates that he won't run for the party's presidential nomination in 2016 if former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decides to make another bid for the White House. Cuomo has been considered a likely candidate — and "his sharp turn to the political left this year after two years governing as a moderate" has fueled speculation that he plans to run, Dicker says. Yet an insider in his administration says Cuomo knows and accepts that if Clinton runs, she'll easily win the nomination.

Plenty of people find the report easy to believe — because it's merely acknowledging what political strategists in both parties have been saying for months. Dicker "knows the New York terrain better than anyone," says Taylor Marsh at her blog, but his scoop isn't exactly shocking news. "It's the mostly unspoken truth that infuriates anti-Hillary folks. That if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president in 2016 she'll clear the field." The latest New Hampshire poll found Clinton to be the hands-down favorite to win the state's first-in-the-nation primary, with 61 percent of Democrats saying they'll back her. Cuomo, it seems, is merely accepting the indelible writing on the wall.

Cuomo, however, denies that there's any truth to the report. "Hillary Clinton is going to do whatever Hillary Clinton is going to do, and I'm doing what I'm doing, and I'm focused on running this state," he said. Still, it makes perfect sense for a guy "facing up to near-certain defeat" to quietly step into the wings if, as expected, Hillary runs, says Tom Precious at The Buffalo News. "Seems like a no-brainer, considering the party wrath that would come Cuomo's way if he were to try to block Clinton from becoming the nation's first female president."

Still, with the election three-and-a-half years away, not everyone is convinced Cuomo should be making any decisions just yet. Unless, of course, he wants to score a few points by offering not to run for a job he doesn't really want, anyway. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air says it sounds like Cuomo isn't interested in running. "If he was, he'd be better off shifting more to the middle," Morrissey says. "Instead, he took the left-flank position on gun control — and them made a mess of it, signing a bill that was so utterly unworkable that he had to beg the legislature to fix it." If he wanted to sit in the Oval Office the smart move would have been "to support the middle-of-the-road position rather than go full tilt on gun control," says Morrissey.

But let's say for the sake of argument that Cuomo was interested in a 2016 run for the big office. Why give Hillary Clinton veto control over his ambitions? She'll be 69 in 2016, with only eight years in the Senate and four very questionable years as Secretary of State on which to run. The Benghazi mess may still erupt on her, especially now that more whistleblowers appear ready to talk about the terrorist attack and the Obama administration response to it. If John Kerry manages to do anything in the next three years, it will be more than Hillary accomplished in four. Plus, let's not forget that the unstoppable Hillary coronation got derailed by a first-term Senate backbencher in 2008. Why would a governor of the second most populous state be intimidated by Hillary? [Hot Air]

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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