I had heard the rumors that Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon planned to primary New York’s Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo, but I didn’t believe them. It made so little sense to me that I ignored it until yesterday, when Nixon actually declared her candidacy. According to the Siena College poll of registered Democratic Party voters and self-identified liberals cited in Talking Points Memo yesterday, Cuomo is currently ahead by 47 points in the polls. He has $30 million in the bank, which worries me less. With the right fundraiser, $30 million is not that hard to come up with, even if you don’t take corporate donations. In the 2000 presidential primary season, John McCain once raised $2.7 million in a week; in 2004, insurgent Democrat Howard Dean raised $15 million in three months.
I must admit that, fanciful as it seems to me, there is some rude justice in Nixon’s candidacy. For some of us, it naturally revives memories of a famous dirty tricks campaign during the 1977 New York City mayoral campaign between Cuomo’s father, Mario, and Ed Koch. Residents of Queens woke up one day to find flyers plastered up and down Queens Boulevard that said: “Vote for Cuomo, not the Homo.” The flyers appeared again in 1982, when Koch challenged then-lieutenant governor Cuomo for the gubernatorial nomination, and that time maybe it worked.
For the rest of this post, published at Public Seminar on March 21, 2018, click here.