Presidential Race in 2016 Could Be Tri-State Faceoff

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Forget 2012. Some are already looking ahead to a possible showdown in 2016 between two tri-state governors -- Chris Christie of New Jersey and Andrew Cuomo of New York. (Published Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011)

    Nevermind that the presidential field for 2012 has yet to take shape. In the Tri-State, some are looking four more years down the road to a race that could see a possible faceoff between New York and New Jersey.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is often mentioned as a top Republican contender, and lately, New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo has gained attention for the Democratic race. The Cuomo buzz reached new heights this weekend after he won a set of stunning legislative victories, including the legalization of gay marriage.

    Pundits say both governors tend to command the stage, and could make for a lively race, if it got that far.

    "I think it would be a lot of fun," said Matthew Hale, of Seton Hall University's Center for Public Service.

    For his part, Cuomo dismissed the speculation that he might run, calling the talk "silly."

    "We have an election next year," Cuomo said in a radio interview Monday on Talk 1300 AM.

    Running for president in 2016, he went on, is "not a possibility," but a moment later, the Democrat clarified that he is not ruling it out.

    "You ruled out running in 2016. Is that true?" host Fred Dicker asked.

    "No," Cuomo said. "Let me be clear. I'm not going to engage in this conversation," he added. "I'm not going to engage or fuel the speculation. I have a very important job to do, we just started doing it, and I'm going to focus on this job."

    Meanwhile, his counterpart across the Hudson says he's definitely not running in 2012, but leaves the door open to 2016.

    Both Christie and Cuomo would face the age-old problem that plagues every Northeastern candidate aspiring to national office -- winning over voters in the South and Midwest, pundits say.

    Mayor Bloomberg, a fellow Tri-Stater who flirted with a 2008 presidential run, was asked Monday whether he had any advice for Cuomo on national office.

    "Get back to work," Bloomberg said. The mayor then added that it's difficult for executives to run for president because they don't have time to campaign and must always be at their desks, while legislators are free to roam the campaign trail.