a) The best guys never run for president.
b) The timing was never right. This is a perennial problem in Presidential politics--when do you make the run? There are scores of factors and infinite variations to consider.
c) Skeletons rattling in the closet? Those skeletons are often alluded to, but we have yet to see any substance. He ran for Mayor of New York and Governor of New York and nothing emerged. I never believed in those skeletons.
d) He didn't want to know if he would win or not. He wanted to keep that certain aura, which he would have sullied by jumping in.
In 1984, We ran Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. We lost. I'm not sure anyone, even Mario could have beaten President Reagan.
Michael Dukakis was our '88 candidate. I was a delegate for Jessie Jackson at the state convention, where we were rolled over by the other sides. Would Mario have had a shot at George Bush? I think so...
Could Mario have beaten Clinton in 1992? I don't know...but I'm pretty sure he could have beaten George Bush in the main event.
My favorite speech by Governor Cuomo (and he didn't give many bad ones) was at the Democratic Convention in San Francisco in 1984. I lived there at the time. I didn't get to see Mario (I came close to a ticket, but I blew it!) I did get to see speeches by VPOTUS candidate Geraldine Ferraro and Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles. Here is an excerpt of Mario's 1984 stemwinder. Read the speech, or better, listen to the audio here:
It's an old story. It's as old as our history. The difference between Democrats and Republicans has always been measured in courage and
confidence. The Republicans believe that the wagon train will not make it to the frontier unless some of the old, some of the young, some of the weak are left behind by the side of the trail. The strong, the strong they tell us will inherit the land.
Maybe, maybe, Mr. President, if you visited some more places. Maybe if you went to Appalachia where some people still live in sheds, maybe if you went to Lackawanna where thousands of unemployed steel workers wonder why we subsidized foreign steel. Maybe, maybe, Mr. President, if you stopped in at a shelter in Chicago and spoke to the homeless there; maybe, Mr. President, if you asked a woman who had been denied the help she needed to feed her children because you said you needed the money for a tax break for a millionaire or for a missile we couldn't afford to use.