Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani embraced when they met in the auditorium before Monday’s Hofstra presidential debate.
The moment symbolized the stakes that various New York power players may have in the White House race.
Republican Giuliani has gone whole hog for Trump, taking shots on the candidate’s behalf — even issuing a post-debate statement that Clinton is “too stupid to be president” because she stood by her husband and once attacked Monica Lewinsky.
Former City Hall associates of Giuliani suggest he may be interested in becoming secretary of defense in a Trump administration.
Democrat Cuomo, who worked in the Clinton administration, has taken quite a different approach to his rival party’s candidate. After some early public clashing, Trump and Cuomo have sent mutually cordial signals.
Cynics may speculate that Cuomo sees a chance for himself to run for president in 2020 if Clinton fails. But Cuomo does tend to treat empowered Republicans lightly, and has been on friendly terms with Giuliani for decades.
Sheldon Adelson, a major pro-Israel Republican donor and casino magnate, snared several great seats in the debate hall Monday night. He attended City College of New York and worked on Wall Street before making his fortune. He could have influence under Trump, though he first backed Marco Rubio.
Adelson in 2013 called for dropping an atomic bomb in the Iranian desert to prod the nation into complying with Western demands. Soon after, his Sands Corp. was the target of a costly cyberattack that U.S. officials later linked to Iran.
Sen. Chuck Schumer attended the debate too. He’s seeking re-election this year, and in the likely event that he wins, is poised to become the Senate Democratic leader. If former colleague Clinton wins big, it could help Schumer become majority leader.
New York’s Republican power clique is smaller than the Democrats’, and therefore more conspicuous. Democrats hold all the top elected positions in New York and hold the White House, so a transition to Trump would mark a more dramatic shift.
A few notches down the food chain, perhaps Team Trump if elected will find an appropriate appointment for Suffolk Republican Chairman John Jay LaValle, who has served with steadfast loyalty as a surrogate for the candidate.
New York City’s convicted former police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, was released from federal prison three years ago after serving time for tax evasion and making false statements to the federal government.
Kerik was picked for homeland security director under George W. Bush, but withdrew as scandal surrounded him. For many months, Kerik has appeared in news forums expressing support for Trump. Could that help Kerik get a long-desired pardon if and when the time comes?
Gov. Chris Christie emerged from the debate Monday to bitterly complain to news media that media fact-checkers “have an agenda.”
He might say the same of some folks in federal court.
Hours after Christie’s Hofstra remarks, David Wildstein, the star prosecution witness in the George Washington Bridge case, fact-checked the governor’s claim of ignorance about a bizarre, politically motivated traffic snarl.
Wildstein testified that Christie was indeed told about the scheme — and laughed when he heard.
Given the possible damage to his reputation, it’s hard to say what Christie, who had been talked about for U.S. attorney general, might stand to gain from a Trump administration.