Cuomo: Filling a void
“Thank God for Andrew Cuomo,” said Jill Filipovic in CNN.com. While President Trump spouts dangerous lies about the coronavirus, drags his feet, and blames everyone but himself, New York’s governor has provided “real leadership.” As his state has become the national epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cuomo has used his televised briefings to level with the public about the risks and draw the distinction between hopes and facts, and has even employed his own family to put a face on the danger. He has strategically praised Trump when possible, and sharply criticized him over the shortage of desperately needed ventilators and protective equipment. And unlike the president, who has pushed to reopen the economy as soon as possible, Cuomo has spoken about prioritizing saving lives over the stock market. “My mother is not expendable,” he said. “Your mother is not expendable. We will not put a dollar figure on human life.”
Cuomo’s performance has been so impressive, said Emily Zanotti in DailyWire.com, that some Democrats are openly discussing him as an alternative to presidential front-runner Joe Biden. And the discussion will gain momentum if some states cancel their primaries and neither Biden nor his chief rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), reaches a majority of delegates before the convention. Cuomo has zero delegates, said John Fund in NationalReview.com, so his replacing Biden is unlikely. But Democrats have good reason for buyer’s remorse. Cuomo’s commanding performances represent everything that Biden is not, and the former vice president’s relevance has seemed to dwindle since the outbreak. Lately, Biden has been looking forlorn and befuddled as he gives press briefings from the basement of his home.
What a delicious irony, said Maureen Dowd in The New York Times. Over his decades in politics, Cuomo has earned a reputation as “a cold, calculating pol” who ruthlessly works the levers of government while bulldozing any opposition. Now, “to the surprise of many,” he has become a veritable font of empathy, a “national shrink” to talk us through “our fear, our loss, and our growing stir-craziness.” In one affecting moment, he described being cooped up alone with his dog and fretted about the isolation of single people like himself. He has made his mom, Matilda, the face of every senior citizen in harm’s way. Cuomo has become the unlikely leader that America needs during this “horror-movie moment.” ■