A conversation with Washington Post reporter Jason Horowitz about the scattered, scarred alumni of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Jimmy Vielkind: You'll start to see a change in Cuomo's tune when major, core, New York-based Democratic constituency groups—think 1199—start calling him out.(2)
Steve Kornacki: Clinton really is the perfect messenger for this, and the Republicans have contributed to it by making him a major part of their anti-Obama narrative. He's the "good" Democratic president, in their telling, the one whose legacy Obama has thumbed his nose at with his reckless spending and devotion to Big Government and partisanship. With Republicans singing his praises, Clinton has become one of the most popular public figures in the country.
Steve Kornacki: I would guess Christie's people have always been sensitive to the idea that angling for vice president might look bad at home, especially after all of the will he/won't he run drama last year. I mean, I still think he's in pretty decent shape for '13, but we're also still talking about New Jersey, too. Christie just doesn't have a big margin for error, and it won't help if they make it easier for Democrats to argue that he doesn't really want the job and is looking to get out.(2)
Tom Moran: Christie speaks directly, from the gut, which is central to his appeal. But it also makes him dangerous. In one recent incident on the boardwalk, he was recorded taunting a critic, almost as if he wanted to fight. He insulted a Navy Seal veteran at another event. You can get away with that in New Jersey, but it could be costly in a national campaign. Also, Christie has thin experience, just half of one term as governor. He said himself that he's not prepared to be president, a statement Democrats would highlight. I wonder, too, if his weight was an issue.(2)
Steve Kornacki: Doubt there's much let-up on Bain. My sense is they see a natural link between that and the Ryan budget that they'll want to exploit. The idea is: these are exactly the kinds of governing priorities that a profits-crazed corporate raider who lives a pampered top-1 percent lifestyle free from the pain of the Great Recession would have. If anything, I'd say they think the Ryan stuff fleshes out the Romney narrative they're pushing.
The way Walker approached collective bargaining, the ideological and political motives were obvious. He wanted to sap unions of their electoral clout and delegitimize then. Cuomo's being tough with unions, but he also communicates with them and frames what he's doing as purely budget-driven. He's signaling a basic level of respect that Walker never did, and obviously he gets some benefit of the doubt just from his party label.(2)
Steve Kornacki: I'm sure we'll hear plenty of that, sort of like with the supposed Bradley Effect and Obama in '08, and if Obama ends up losing, maybe there'll be some impulse to blame this. What will really change it is when states start voting against bans like the one that passed in North Carolina yesterday (or start voting to legalize it).
Jimmy Vielkind: I think it shows just how strategic Cuomo is about, well, everything. There's what you mentioned. But there are also worries that the governor talks about, which I think have merit, about not being distracted from New York. A soaring speech moves him to a national stage when he's not done with his agenda at home. He knows the dangers of peaking early (See: Cuomo, Mario Matthew) as a prospective presidential candidate so yes, this does put him in a bit of a spot.