Kremer’s Corner: Time works against Biden, Hochul

Jerry Kremer

What do President Joe Biden and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul have in common?

No, it’s not just that they are public officials. It’s also not for all the other reasons you thought of. Each has only the next 90 days to prove they can govern effectively and that is some heck of a challenge. The clock is ticking and unfortunately, time goes by very quickly.

President Biden has staked his survival on the fact that he is a proven dealmaker and is different than his predecessor.

He helped craft a bipartisan infrastructure bill and if it doesn’t pass the House of Representatives during the upcoming three-month period, his whole image as a leader could take a massive hit and the party’s chances of survival in 2022 will be minimal.

In Washington, it is usually the minority party that is a threat to the approval of some major bill. But in the case of the infrastructure bill, it is the liberal wing of the Democratic Party that is causing all of the problems by insisting that a separate $3.6 trillion proposal must be adopted at the same time as the president’s number one priority.

If the Biden infrastructure bill was to be put on the House floor it would pass with both Democratic and Republican support, but the Bernie Sanders group won’t let that happen.

It is no secret that the Democratic Party faces the challenge of keeping their majority in the House and Senate in 2022. The passage of a bipartisan infrastructure bill could cement the president’s reputation as an effective leader if it was adopted during 2021.

But if the Democrats in the House stall the adoption of the legislation, then they have succeeded in torpedoing their own president. After the fallout of the Afghanistan withdrawal, a Biden win in Congress is a must for his survival.

The newly elevated Gov. Kathy Hochul has made a number of popular moves, which will help her when she plans to run for a full term. She has gotten deeply involved in the Covid crises and has appointed a number of outstanding people to serve in her administration. In addition, she has continued to travel all over the state letting people know she is a governor who is different than her predecessor.

She will have many other opportunities in the next three months to show that she can run the state effectively. But by the end of the year the question will be has she done enough to scare off some potential primary competitors next year?

To survive as the state’s leader she will also have to raise large amounts of campaign cash. The way to chase away a possible challenger is to show that you have an overwhelming amount of cash in the bank.

As of this date, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a war chest of $16 million and he might try to engineer a comeback if he thinks the timing is right. Anyone who assumes that Cuomo will go off silently into the night is delusional.

At this point in time, there are at least four people who may be her challengers in the early primary next year.

At the top of the list is Attorney General Letitia James who hasn’t given any hint on what her 2022 plans are. As the author of the investigation that toppled the former governor, the AG could be a formidable opponent.

In addition, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano are exploring a run. Mayor Bill De Blasio is in the process of asking friends whether he has a chance to win that post.

Of the possible challengers, the only one who at this point could be a serious contender is the Attorney General.

Williams ran for lieutenant governor three years ago and did well but he will not be able to compete in a governor’s contest. Mayor Spano is a big city mayor but he has had no public visibility around the state and with no offense to Mayor De Blasio, he would be wasting his time.

Ninety days goes quickly and the clock is ticking fast for the president and the governor.

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