Few rituals these past couple of years have been more fruitless and illogical than pretending that Barack Obama will pick a new vice presidential candidate for 2012, rested on the notion that such a move would in any way be helpful. Is Joe Biden, in any meaningful sense, a political liability for Barack Obama? Would the switch from one centrist Democrat to another really trick the broad middle of America's electorate into forgetting about our shitty economy?
Most of these rumors have centered around Hillary Clinton, usually whenever some operative whispers nonsense into the ear of Sally Quinn at a cocktail party of liars. But over the holiday weekend, some person who doesn't know what he saying spouted off about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's VP chances to the New York Post. As always, it's the unusual certainty that dispels any notion of veracity behind this:
Former New York GOP boss William Powers, credited with playing a key role in electing Rudy Giuliani mayor and George Pataki governor, was effusive in his praise of Cuomo's successes in the just-ended legislative session, and in his prediction of the freshman governor's political future.
"Andrew had a fabulous session. It was fabulous. A property-tax cap, ethics reform and, for Democrats, gay marriage," said Powers.
"I don't think there's any doubt Obama is going to pick him as his running mate. The president is in trouble and [Vice President Joseph] Biden doesn't bring anything to his ticket.
"The president will call him up later this year and say, 'Andrew, you have to do this for the good of the country.' What's Andrew going to say, 'No?' "
Biden brings two things to the ticket that these gossips tend to forgot: Not being scandalous, and not distracting everyone from the name at the top of the ticket. (Aside from the occasional gaffes, which have been tampered down quite a bit and don't matter anyway.)
Cuomo shot down these "silly" rumors today, as you can see in the clip above. Take his word for it. Here's one way to think about this: Do you think that Obama would want to go through all the publicity of switching his figurehead deputy just to highlight gay marriage as a major election issue?