Cuomo? Hell No.


John McCain sticks with his knuckleheaded call for Chris Cox to step down at the SEC.

This may sound a little unusual, but I've admired Andrew Cuomo. I think he is somebody who could — restore some credibility, lend some bipartisanship — to this effort.

Robert George mans the torpedos.

Huh? Is McCain serious? Now, don't get me wrong. Cuomo, currently New York state attorney general, is a smart Democrat, and moderate in many ways. However, there's a strong case to be made that, as Clinton's HUD secretary, many Cuomo decisions actually may have exacerbated the mortgage meltdown that is at the heart of the current financial industry crisis.

George's evidence is a brutal Wayne Barrett column about the Cuomo record.

Andrew Cuomo, the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history, made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country's current crisis. He took actions that—in combination with many other factors—helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded "kickbacks" to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans. Three to four million families are now facing foreclosure, and Cuomo is one of the reasons why… the near-collapse of these dual pillars in recent weeks is rooted in the HUD junkyard, where every Cuomo decision discussed here was later ratified by his Bush successors.

Appointing Andrew Cuomo to clean up the housing mess would be the equivalent of kicking off an Afghanistan troop surge by making Donald Rumseld our man in Kabul.

This is a pretty academic debate, though: As blithering as McCain is proving to be as a potential executive decision-maker, he sounds like he opposes the odious bailout. Obama is primed to support the bailout after complaining about it and thumbs-upping various Democratic amendments.

Via Ben Smith.