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politics

The Simple, One-Word Reason Andrew Cuomo Will Never Beat Trump

It's the subway, stupid.

by Eve Peyser
Jul 7 2017, 4:41pm

Image by author via Associated Press

On Friday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo was the subject of a Politico piece with the headline, "Andrew Cuomo Could Beat Trump… If He Can Win Over the Left First." The idea is that Cuomo, a notoriously ruthless politician who has backed some progressive policies like a fracking ban, is a top-tier 2020 contender—the problem is that left-wing activists consider him untrustworthy and ruthless, without any principles beyond acquiring more power. Or as Jezebel's Brendan O'Connor eloquently puts it, "Andrew Cuomo is a fucking snake."

Conspicuously missing from the Politico piece, however, are three important letters: MTA. Also known as the state-run agency in charge of the subway.

The subway system is currently in a "state of emergency" thanks to Cuomo's inaction, and riders of all classes, races, genders, and neighborhoods have been feeling the effects of slowed trains and poorly maintained infrastructure. The governor, however, has been trying his darnedest to evade actually fixing it. "They tweet nasty things about me all day, the riders," he recently complained, before finally announcing he would invest $1.2 billion in fixing the damn trains.

Except, according to a Daily News report from Thursday, Cuomo will be "pushing money toward his pet projects instead of critical repairs... like the building of a third Long Island Rail Road track, creation of an AirTrain for LaGuardia Airport, subway station improvements and automatic toll-collection systems."

If Cuomo got past a crowded Democratic field to face Donald Trump in 2020, the attack ads basically write themselves. Crooked Cuomo says he'll fix Washington but he can't even fix the subway. The Republicans will no doubt paint him as ineffective, incompetent, despised by the base in his state's biggest city. And unless Cuomo solves the subway crisis, that last point will be completely true.

But that assumes Cuomo could win the nomination. And given that the governor is also responsible for kneecapping an ethics commission looking into his office's shady activities, and that his former aides have been charged with corruption, that seems unlikely. Then again, Donald Trump is president. Anything is possible.

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