President Cuomo

The bold New York governor who brought same-sex marriage to the Empire State has become a civil rights hero — and a 2016 contender 

Robert Shrum

If you're old enough, you may find a use for those "Cuomo for President" buttons from the 80s and 90s that you threw in the back of a drawer way back when. That is, assuming they only flaunt a last name: Mario, who would have won, declined to run. But after just six months in father Mario's old job as governor of New York, another Cuomo — Andrew — has defining achievements that could position him to run and win in 2016.

I predicted Andrew Cuomo's rise to Ben Smith of Politico in a conversation several weeks ago. Then, the governor was beginning — and has since successfully continued — to mastermind the passage of a marriage equality law in New York. Lo and behold, Cuomo's victory late Friday night, when the Republican-controlled State Senate voted in favor of same-sex marriage, triggered blog posts and headlines like Sunday morning's lead item on the Politico site: "Cuomo jumpstarts 2016 speculation." The triumph of marriage equality in the Empire State, with its central place in finance, media, and the world of ideas, was a historic event in its own right. But it will also bend history for Cuomo, the Democratic Party, and even in the end, the GOP.

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Robert Shrum has been a senior adviser to the Gore 2000 presidential campaign, the campaign of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the British Labour Party. In addition to being the chief strategist for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign, Shrum has advised thirty winning U.S. Senate campaigns; eight winning campaigns for governor; mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other major cities; and the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. Shrum's writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New Republic, Slate, and other publications. The author of No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner (Simon and Schuster), he is currently a Senior Fellow at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.