Hillary Clinton Stumps for Cuomo

NEW YORK (AP) -

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo raced into the stretch run of his re-election campaign with help Thursday from a boldfaced name who threatened to overshadow him on stage: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton, who has been traveling the country in support of Democratic candidates while playing coy about any White House ambitions, stayed close to home, appearing at a Manhattan rally with Cuomo and his pick for lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul.

Loud chants of “2016! 2016!” greeted Clinton as she took the stage, far louder than the cheers Cuomo received when she introduced him minutes later. Clinton was effusive in her praise for Cuomo, a longtime political ally who worked in her husband’s presidential administration.

“There is no doubt the governor is the right leader at the right time with the right plan,” Clinton said to the predominantly female crowd rallying under the banner of the Woman’s Equality Party, a political organization founded by Cuomo.

Cuomo took the stage teasing Clinton’s potential White House aspirations, saying, “I hope she does something really, really, really big.”

But even as the crowd roared their approval and the former first lady threw up her hands in mock exasperation, several dozen people left once Clinton finished speaking and Cuomo took the microphone.