By Nikki Schwab* – Daily Mail, UK
Draft Andrew Cuomo! Democratic twittersphere lights up with demands to make New York governor the party’s 2020 candidate after commanding response to coronavirus put Joe Biden in the shade
‘Draft Andrew Cuomo’ accounts have been popping up on Twitter as New York’s governor has become President Trump’s favorite foil amid the coronavirus crisis
The creator of one of the accounts told DailyMail.com he wants to see Cuomo as a viable option in case something happens to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders
Cuomo is attracting praise from Democrats for his handling of the pandemic, which is hitting New York City especially hard
At the same time, Biden only equipped his house with broadcasting equipment on Monday, which has left him sidelined from the conversation until this week
Democrats, many aligned with his rival Bernie Sanders, have complained that Biden hasn’t done enough to show leadership during the ongoing crisis
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Two Draft Cuomo Twitter accounts were launched since Monday, while praise of Cuomo has lit up the left-leaning Twittersphere every time he briefs the press.
At the same time, likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden just got his Wilmington, Delaware house wired for home broadcasting, so he’s able to spend more time in the limelight, something that kept him sidelined until Monday.
‘Draft Cuomo’ Twitter accounts popped up this week after the Democratic New York governor took control of his state’s coronavirus crisis
On Tuesday, the account @DraftCuomo2020 appeared, which was created by a man named Jay out of New Jersey, who likes the governor as a back-up Democratic candidate for president
The @DraftCuomo2020 account started with this tweet on Tuesday. The founder said he planned to amass followers on social media to start, with no plans to raise funds for a potential Cuomo run through a political action committee
Jay, a Democrat from New Jersey, who declined to have his last name used for the story, launched @DraftCuomo2020 on Twitter on Tuesday. Another @DraftCuomo account was created Monday, but has fewer followers thus far.
‘I think what this moment shows the electorate, more than anything, is the importance of things we might not have considered initially, most especially – executive experience,’ Jay told DailyMail.com on Wednesday. ‘If you look at our field back when it started with 20-25 some odd candidates, there were a few governors in there and maybe in hindsight we should have given them a better look.’
But the coronavirus outbreak put those leadership skills front and center, and prompted Jay to act.
While the Twitter account still has under 200 followers, Jay called the initial response ‘overwhelmingly positive.’
‘I’ve been getting messages from folks around the country saying how can I help, what can I do to get this done?’ Jay said. ‘The enthusiasm is definitely there – and I think it’s in large part due to reconsideration of our priorities given the circumstances.’
Jay envisioned Cuomo as a back-up candidate, pointing to the advanced ages of both Biden and Bernie Sanders, who remains in the Democratic 2020 race.
Biden is 77-years-old, while Sanders is 78-years-old.
‘So given these circumstances and given where 2020 has already led us, we have to be prepared in the case that one or both of our nominees can’t serve and they fail – whether that’s because of their health or for other reasons,’ he said.
‘And in that case, I think Gov. Cuomo would be a great pick,’ he added.
He also argued that while Biden promised to pick a female running mate, the former vice president might want to rethink that choice and select Cuomo instead.
Jay said he has no plans for @DraftCuomo2020 besides a social media presense so far, explaining that people’s focus should be on the coronavirus pandemic. He also has no plans to look up convention rules or raise funds for Cuomo as part of a political action committee.
‘There needs to be a critical mass so to speak for this to even be a discussable topic,’ Jay said.
Other Democrats DailyMail.com interviewed understood why there was an interest in Cuomo.
Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who’s running for Congress in the New York Democratic primary against Rep. Jerry Nadler, said the governor has ‘stepped forward and taken responsibility in a time when we have a real vacuum of leadership at the federal level.’
‘He’s making things happen, period end of story,’ Boylan said. ‘People are responding to his straight talk and bottom line kind of leadership in a moment like this.
‘The American people need leaders with the courage to tell the truth and that’s what Andrew Cuomo is doing,’ she added.
As a Congressional candidate, Boylan hasn’t made an official endorsement for president, but has said she’ll support the Democratic nominee.
She has, however, noticed Biden’s absence.
‘As I watch [President Trump] bungle the most basic humane support on stage and be a total jerk, I think of the leadership we need. If [Joe Biden] expects to be our nominee, I would expect him to be very present and vocal right now,’ she tweeted Sunday. ‘I don’t get it at all.’
On Monday Biden started to remedy that, by broadcasting from his home.
Joel Payne, a Democratic strategist who worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, suggested members of his party were still shopping for a candidate over jitters from what happened four years ago.
‘I think it’s just reflexive of a nervous, insecure Democratic Party,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘Donald Trump rocked the party’s confidence and now we’re hopping from savior to savior.’
‘Also reflects how much the COVID outbreak has sidelined Biden,’ Payne added. 26 March 2020
* Senior U.S. Political Reporter For Daily Mail