Democrats are so convinced that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be considered for Joe Biden’s attorney general that aides at the National Governors Association, which Cuomo chairs, are looking into contingencies for replacing him, two sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.
What we’re hearing: Some Democratic donors in Cuomo’s orbit tell Axios that the governor is being pushed for the job and that Biden would consider him, based on their long friendship.
Why it matters: The AG would be among the most politically sensitive — and high-profile — jobs in a Biden administration.
- The Justice Department will face pressure to investigate Trump-era officials — and perhaps Trump himself — for wrongdoing in office.
- Biden’s AG also would manage the federal response to police violence, social unrest and systemic racism, and the AG could seek to use federal powers to blunt state abortion restrictions.
What they’re saying: Cuomo’s team denies that the governor has any interest in serving in a potential Biden Cabinet.
- “100% he’s made zero outreach, has had zero conversations about this and has made his desire to stay in New York clear as day and be governor as long as people want him,” Cuomo’s senior adviser Richard Azzopardi tells Axios.
Between the lines: Biden is clearly fond of Cuomo, but he’s also committed — and under pressure — to name a racially and gender-diverse Cabinet, including the marquee posts.
- Names like former acting AG Sally Yates and Stacey Abrams are also likely on a list of AG candidates.
The big picture: Cuomo, who previously served as New York’s AG, has a long history with Biden.
- Through his late father Mario, Cuomo’s known Biden since the 1980s. The two grew closer during the Hurricane Sandy reconstruction efforts and Cuomo’s time serving in Bill Clinton’s Cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
- People who know their relationship say Biden sees parts of himself in the 62-year-old.
- “When one of them needs something, it’s automatic,” says a person familiar with their relationship. “It’s not a calculation.”