ANDREW THINKS HE WILL SURVIVE
It is now coming down to the possible end of Andrew Cuomo’s tenure as governor. We know that the Attorney General and the Assembly have authorized investigations into Cuomo’s behavior. To understand all of this, you have to think like Tough Guy Andrew.
As I have been suggesting, Andrew thinks that he will survive and if he does, the way will be clear to run for a fourth term and win. Like his nemesis, Donald Trump, Cuomo will surely try to tough it out. Oh, he’s tried to make it all better. In one press conference, he cried and sort of apologized. The problem for him was that few were buying. I think he got that and decided enough is enough. He decided just to do his job and to hell with the apologies. For the most part, he did not talk to the press but the press dutifully reported on whatever he had to say about the virus or any other part of government.
In the meantime, his enemies and detractors were waiting for the various investigating committees to report. Oh yes, a number of Cuomo’s staffers were jumping ship but that meant little to Andrew himself. Now, slowly the story began to change. He insisted that he had not harassed anyone, a point which he has made over and over again. Andrew has been figuring the political odds. The key question was whether his political opponents had the ability to kick him out of office. Cuomo has been figuring that they do not have the guts to do that. He is kicking ass and taking names to make sure that his political enemies don’t have the support to go forward with a prosecution, either legal or political, as in impeachment.
Now Cuomo is making a list. One can only listen to the faithful Rich Azzopardi as he reads out the names of those who are trying to do Cuomo in politically. At the top of his list is none other than New York Attorney General Letitia James who, like Andrew, wants to go from being the Attorney General of the state to governor. If the anti-Cuomo gang can get the current governor to resign or if they were to impeach him, the governor-wannabes would have a shot. But if he sticks to his guns and figures that he can beat anyone whose name has been put forward, they just don’t have a shot at him.
Another name that has been brought up is that of my very good friend, Tom DiNapoli, the New York State comptroller. DiNapoli is a very bright man. Since money management has become such an important part of what a governor does, DiNapoli would be a very good governor. I know DiNapoli to be a charismatic and funny man, but I don’t know how many others do. If he went head to head with Cuomo, he might have a tough time beating him.
Meanwhile, a whole bunch of Republicans think they have a shot, a la George Pataki. A few of them are just dumb choices. You’ve got Lee Zeldin, a Trumper who hasn’t got a chicken’s chance. I mean this is Blue State New York. Zeldin won’t run for Congress again but he’s like so many Republicans who seem to be living in lala land. Another Republican name is Rob Astorino who Cuomo already dispatched once and who was defeated in his own county executive job. I’m sure he figures that the election odds have increased in his favor since Cuomo’s troubles began. Then there is the spawn of Giuliani. Don’t get me started.
The conclusion, of course, is that Cuomo will be able to beat the field. He knows that and he will continue to say that he did nothing wrong, both with coming on to women and in his edicts covering nursing homes.
Alan Chartock is professor emeritus at the State University of New York, publisher of the Legislative Gazette and president and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Readers can email him at [email protected].