When it comes to this year's Democratic National Convention, it seems Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking a decidedly low key approach. He isn't leading the New York delegation, instead, giving that responsibility to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, nor is delivering any big speeches. Cuomo isn't even expected to make an appearance until the very last day when President Obama accepts the nomination. But despite staying under the radar at the convention, it seems Cuomo does have something to say about the state of the Democratic Party, as he demonstrated at a policy summit he hosted down in New York City. Our Zack has the story.
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- At a state Democratic Committee policy conference in midtown, Governor Cuomo addressed the wonky crowd under a banner that read, "new ideas, new New York."
But in his remarks, Cuomo embraced many of the old ideas about government that are often associated with the Democratic Party.
Cuomo said, "The Democrats believe in government. We believe in the concept of government. We believe that government is the vehicle for community."
The state committee conference comes just two weeks before the Democratic national convention. The Governor's limited, one day role without making a speech at that convention has left political observers scratching their heads.
Cuomo is said to be interested in seeking the presidency in 2016, so why take such a back seat role in 2012? In recent years, Democrats who received the nomination made major speeches at the previous conventions including Bill Clinton in 1988 and Barack Obama in 2004. Democratic strategist George Arzt says Cuomo's move is strategic.
Arzt said, "The more you are absent from the spotlight, the more people want you. So people are going to grab him on the one day he is there. And he is going to be the star for one day. He can never be the star of the convention because it’s Obama's convention."
The governor acknowledges that he has played an active role in conventions of the past, but restated that he plans a limited one in Charlotte.
"Someone was saying at the past convention you were very active. Yeah, I was in the cabinet of Bill Clinton. Supporting at one time Al Gore to become the next president of the United States. And doing the politics and that election was important at the time. My role now is to be Governor of the State of New York," Cuomo said.
But for potential candidates, conventions are also good opportunities to meet delegates from other states and attract national media.
It's unclear if Cuomo is being coy about running in 2016 or this is part of a specific, coordinated strategy. One thing is for sure, it certainly hasn't tamped down speculation that he may run. Of course, that may be exactly the point.