Donald Trump‘s current term as president ends at noon on January 20, 2021.
As strange as it may seem at this time of exclusive focus on our public health and economic emergencies, a vital national election is still coming.
I have been a Republican candidate for Congress, a GOP staffer in the Senate and a business partner of Roger Stone when he conceived of and managed Donald Trump‘s first campaign for President (seeking the nomination of the Reform Party, in 2000).
In spite of some of that, and because of some of it, in 2016 I became one of the earliest public “never Trumpers,” creating a SuperPAC, “Republicans for Her.“
Today, I stand ready, willing and able to do anything I can to help the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, win the upcoming election and replace our profoundly unfit chief executive.
Joe Biden is temperate, experienced, empathetic and profoundly decent. He has served our country more than well for decades, clearly embarking on this, his almost certainly last, campaign, out of duty, not vanity, out of a calling to do something good.
In recent days, however, as the rhythm and rhyme of this period of crisis have taken shape, I have come to think there may be an even wiser and more selfless way for the most honorable Joe Biden to serve.
At the Democratic National Convention, whether it happens conventionally or virtually, Vice President Biden could, and perhaps should, step aside, and ask his delegates to vote to nominate Governor Andrew Cuomo. This, despite the Governor’s declarations of non-candidacy.
As the epochal events through which we are all living — an epidemic likely to take a six figure count of American lives and put as high a percentage of Americans out of work as the Great Depression—continue to unfold, Governor Cuomo has already emerged as a singular voice.
He is showing capacities, intellectual, emotional and moral, and skills, managerial and as a communicator, which seem to me to make him the best standard bearer for his party in this election and a potential next president of great promise for our country, as it tries to heal and rebound from all it will by then have suffered.
The point here isn’t a comparison between the qualifications or the qualities of Biden and Cuomo, but rather a recognition that the current crisis has been a major blow to the Biden campaign because the reality of the situation has propelled the Governor into the position of being the major contrast to Trump being heard at a national level.
The presidential debates are in effect already occurring daily between the two of them.
But with respect to comparing Biden and Cuomo, it is also just reality that the former Vice President is of a certain age and therefore it is much more likely that the Governor could offer the country the opportunity for the stability of a two-term president, coming on the heels of the tumultuous Trump and Corona eras.
Couldn’t there be an enormous constituency this fall for taking a breather, and for the prospect of a relatively younger and vigorous president who could serve two terms if the people wanted him to?
But for the necessary stay at home orders, on March 21 I would have seen Gore Vidal’s, “The Best Man” at the Walnut Street Theater.
Sorry for the spoiler, but as lovers of political fiction already know, Vidal’s tale of an epic race for a presidential nomination ends with an almost jump scare twist in which the winner at the party’s convention hadn’t been one of the two main rivals who are the subject of the whole drama up until that surprise ending. But that candidate was, for entirely different reasons, “the best man.”
Perhaps the people who voted for Trump weren’t wrong in thinking that a hard edged New Yorker, a guy who made it in the place where it means you can make it anywhere, like both Theodore Roosevelt and FDR, could be an agent for positive disruption in Washington. They just picked the wrong one.
In the Before Times, that distant pre-Covid-19 world, the idea that a modern political convention could nominate someone other than the candidate who won the most delegates in the primaries seemed almost impossible.
But what on earth can still seem impossible in what 2020 has become?
So, just maybe, with the blessing of Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo for President.