Andrew Cuomo hasn’t been hiding anything. In fact, he’s been the exact same person since the very beginning.
He’s always been abrasive and aggressive — that’s who he is. It’s always been, “New York strong,” and, “I’ll do whatever it takes to get things done.” It’s just now that we’re realizing Cuomo crossed the line.
He crossed many lines. Five women have come forward with allegations of unwanted sexual advances or comments; two newspapers have reported Cuomo’s office fudged the numbers on nursing home deaths in New York to feed his political ambitions.
It’s a dizzying, Shakspearean fall for a politician who claimed the national spotlight last year with rare leadership and authoritativeness. And while Cuomo might be staving off an investigation and calls for his resignation, I’ll add another one to the list: Andrew Cuomo should resign.
What he has done is horrendous — full stop. There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s around it. Beyond the sexual misconduct that we all know the importance of taking seriously, Cuomo intentionally and purposefully misled the public and toyed with the deaths of his constituents.
That is unacceptable. If that doesn’t merit a resignation, I’m not sure what would.
Yes, this is who Andrew Cuomo is — this isn’t anything new. Cuomo was known to refuse to learn female reporters’ names, or make off-the-record calls to reporters late at night with threatening overtones. We made the mistake of ignoring or forgetting this when Cuomo stole everyone’s hearts in March.
But we must now accept that Cuomo has always been this person. He has always been a bully who crosses lines. That has to stop.
There are political calculations in this decision. Cuomo’s approval rating is at an all-time low of 38 percent, more than half of the 87 percent of New Yorkers who approved of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic in March. While Cuomo is adamant he will not resign — he’s abrasive and aggressive, remember — further revelations or pressure could force his hand.
More likely, however, is that Cuomo weathers through this storm. He is up for re-election in 2022, and is currently the longest serving governor in New York history; by not resigning, Cuomo could maintain some shred of his legacy. He could also run in 2022 and pray the short memory of American voters helps his case.
He might actually win. The sheer velocity of Cuomo’s drop from grace shouldn’t be mistaken for the strength of voter’s convictions. When given the alternative — either a Democratic primary challenger or a Republican in the general — New Yorkers may remember their love for Cuomo.
But this shouldn’t matter. The political calculations are second to the fact that Cuomo’s behavior in office — both through lying about COVID-19 deaths and harassing aides — is disgusting. He should resign.
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