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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Democrats are so convinced that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be considered for Joe Biden's attorney general that aides at the National Governors Association, which Cuomo chairs, are looking into contingencies for replacing him, two sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Some Democratic donors in Cuomo's orbit tell Axios that the governor is being pushed for the job and that Biden would consider him, based on their long friendship.

Why it matters: The AG would be among the most politically sensitive — and high-profile — jobs in a Biden administration.

  • The Justice Department will face pressure to investigate Trump-era officials — and perhaps Trump himself — for wrongdoing in office.
  • Biden's AG also would manage the federal response to police violence, social unrest and systemic racism, and the AG could seek to use federal powers to blunt state abortion restrictions.

What they're saying: Cuomo's team denies that the governor has any interest in serving in a potential Biden Cabinet.

  • "100% he's made zero outreach, has had zero conversations about this and has made his desire to stay in New York clear as day and be governor as long as people want him," Cuomo's senior adviser Richard Azzopardi tells Axios.

Between the lines: Biden is clearly fond of Cuomo, but he's also committed — and under pressure — to name a racially and gender-diverse Cabinet, including the marquee posts.

  • Names like former acting AG Sally Yates and Stacey Abrams are also likely on a list of AG candidates.

The big picture: Cuomo, who previously served as New York's AG, has a long history with Biden.

  • Through his late father Mario, Cuomo's known Biden since the 1980s. The two grew closer during the Hurricane Sandy reconstruction efforts and Cuomo's time serving in Bill Clinton's Cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
  • People who know their relationship say Biden sees parts of himself in the 62-year-old.
  • "When one of them needs something, it’s automatic,” says a person familiar with their relationship. “It’s not a calculation.”

Go deeper

Updated Jan 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden finalizes full slate of Cabinet secretaries

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden has officially finalized his picks for Cabinet secretaries, naming 10 men and 5 women to lead federal agencies in an administration he has pledged will "look like America."

Driving the news: Biden filled out his Cabinet on Thursday by nominating Judge Merrick Garland to be attorney general, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to lead the Labor Department. CIA director is the sole Cabinet-level position that has not yet been filled.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.