Cuomo after all had just won election as governor of New York by beating a Republican challenger in the Tea Party year of 2010 by 28 points. He had a record as attorney general of cleaning up Wall Street and the ethical cesspool that is Albany, and in his brief tenure in office seemed to have scared the statehouse straight, passing on-time budgets and successfully pushing for landmark marriage equality legislation. And Hillary Clinton, the now all-but certain Democratic nominee, was still playing the role of loyal underling to President Barack Obama, and denying that she was interested in mounting another campaign.
Five years later, Hillary Clinton barnstormed back to her home state of New York to boost Cuomo’s re-election bid against underdog Republican challenger Rob Astorino.
But the question of Clinton’s own future campaign seemed to be much more on the minds of the 500 or so Democratic partisans who piled into a ballroom at the Hyatt Hotel in midtown Manhattan. The event was ostensibly a “Woman for Cuomo” event, designed to highlight his agenda for female voters. But no sooner had Clinton taken the microphone from Cuomo running mate Kathy Hochul than the crowd began chanting “2016! 2016”
Clinton paid tribute to Cuomo, who served eight years in President Bill Clinton’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, framing the election as one that was about what kind of state she wants her newborn granddaughter, Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky, to grow up in.
“I am now a grandmother,” she said to hoots from the audience. “I still feel that grandmother glow. There is something about a new life in your family that really does focus you on the future, doesn’t it? And I believe strongly that I want our granddaughter to have the same opportunity that gave Bill in Arkansas, me growing up in the Chicago area, the chance to take advantage of the blessings and the advantages we have in this country.”
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