The race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination "just began" with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's successful shepherding of a law to legalize gay marriage through the New York state legislature this weekend, Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere and Maggie Haberman report. Cuomo's support for marriage equality puts him at the sweet spot in the arc of history, Democratic strategist Jim Jordan told Politico. His work on gay marriage could be as crucial to his political future as opposing the Iraq war was to then-state Sen. Barack Obama. Cuomo is the first national figure enthusiastically to push same-sex marriage at the exact moment a majority of Americans began to support the issue.
New York's LGBT Pride parade on Sunday took on the trappings of a Cuomo campaign rally--or at least a victory lap for the governor. He marched behind a massive banner with his name, while crowds waved "Thank You Governor Cuomo" signs. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza writes that sure, 2016 is far, far away, but "political strategists are forever looking toward the future and the next big thing--and Cuomo made a claim to that title by finessing passage of the gay marriage bill through the Republican-controlled state Senate." Cillizza spoke to Democratic consultant Jason Ralston, who said that with this huge civil rights victory and his famous liberal name, Cuomo now leads the 2016 pack.
Cuomo even earned praise from combative Republican Gov. Chris Christie of neighboring New Jersey. Christie said on MSNBC Monday morning that Cuomo is "doing great....He gets in the room, he gets his hands dirty and he gets it done...He sets the debate, he defines the debate and then he compromises on the things he needs to compromise on. He's done a great job." The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Katz says these will be words to remember if we get a Cuomo-Christie race in 2016.
The New York Times' Michael Powell says everyone should calm down. "First, 2016 is the political equivalent of a millennium off. Second, Andrew Cuomo knows well how quickly approval curdles, particularly if the national economy remains semi-comatose." Sure, he corralled various political factions and "harnessed great poll numbers and notable legislative successes to pursuit of an issue of high principle. ... But in politics, it remains a long way from here to there."
Manhattan financier and social gadfly Euan Rellie tweets, "We're all Cuomosexuals today." Cuomosexuals? Yes, Rellie says: Chris Cuomo--brother of Andrew and an ABC News reporter--"quietly used the term" at a dinner at novelist Jay McInerney's house on Friday ahead of the vote. Rellie says he is "aggressivley promoting/publicising it." Perhaps we'll hear more of it, if not this presidential campaign, then the next one.