Earlier this year, Cuomo dismissed de Blasio's call for raising the minimum wage to $13 an hour, saying it couldn't be done, that Republicans in the state Senate wouldn't go for it.
How did Cuomo go from saying the minimum wage couldn't be hiked to $13 an hour to calling for a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage?
Let's just say it had to do with politics:
A confluence of factors seemed to bring him to that moment: accusations from liberals in New York that he had strayed from Democratic principles, polls demonstrating growing support for a higher wage, a sense the national Democratic Party was shifting left and the belief that Mr. Cuomo could make the issue a defining part of his legacy.
It cemented the image for many that Mr. Cuomo is a master of triangulation, picking and choosing issues while zigging and zagging across the political spectrum.
Besides, said a former Cuomo aide who still advises the governor, Mr. de Blasio’s imprint on the issue had tarnished the matter for state Senate Republicans, and Mr. Cuomo believes that he can pressure those in swing districts to support his own plan during an election year.
“I’m sorry to see the mayor be the sacrificial lamb, but it looks pretty clearly the mayor is the sacrificial lamb for the low-wage New Yorkers,” New York City Council Member Brad Lander said. “That is a positive thing.”
Said the former Cuomo aide: “Now he can go to [Senate President John] Flanagan and say, you’re not passing de Blasio’s minimum-wage increase, you’re passing Cuomo’s minimum-wage increase or Biden’s minimum-wage increase.”
Mr. Cuomo’s proposal had more to do with lingering liberal dissatisfaction with the governor, according to Mr. Benjamin. “He was a little embarrassed to the degree by which he lost support and he has to repair those relationships,” he said.
If he is successful, Mr. Cuomo would oversee the implementation of the highest minimum wage of any state in the country and cement a stronger reputation among liberals, who supported his push for gay marriage in New York but have grown disillusioned with his more centrist positions on issues such as charter schools and lower tax policy.
Does Cuomo really care about this issue?
Nahh - if he did, he woudn't have dismissed it out of hand a few months ago.
It's the politics around the issue he cares about.
Many traditional Democratic constituencies (including unions) have come to despise him, he faced a challenge from the left last primary, and his poll numbers have fallen and continue to fall.
So, time for some re-invention as a "liberal."
Thus the Common Core "review," thus the minimum wage hike for fast food workers that he engineered, thus the proposal to raise the minimum wage overall that he said just a few months ago couldn't be done.
As the WSJ story says, it's all politics, it's all triangulation and distraction, in part to make liberals/progressives forget his other "centrist" policies - including his education reform agenda like pushing for the "busting" of the public school system and the destruction of the teaching profession through his APPR teacher evaluation system.