I have been right about Tough Guy Andrew all along

By Alan S. Chartock | April 23, 2021

I am writing this column just to show that I have been right about Tough Guy Andrew all along. It is so clear that Andrew has done what most of us could not. As his “Tough Guy” appellation suggests, he hangs tough no matter what hell is going on around him. I know — I have been watching the guy for years. When it looked like his bust up with Kerry Kennedy would spell the end of his political career, it didn’t. Similar story with his celebrity girlfriend, Sandra Lee. He toughed it all out and has served three terms. If I am right, he will run for a fourth. If he doesn’t win, so what? He has plenty of money, including $4 million advance he received for the self-praising book he wrote claiming credit for the way he handled the pandemic. He’ll take his chances, just like his wonderful father did when he ran for a fourth term and lost. Incredibly, Donald Trump held onto his base no matter what despicable things he said and did regarding women. None of that stopped his political followers for voting for him. The accusations against Andrew have dropped lower and lower in the public spot light while those against people like Matthew Gaetz have taken the top billing.

The truth is, there’s been a concerted effort among anti-Cuomo people all along to take the guy out. What with the newspapers and his female accusers and people like the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, calling for his ouster, his troubles seemed formidable. You or I might be hiding in the corner with our eyes closed if we were to find ourselves in his spot. The pain would be intolerable. But not Andrew.

If you heard his budget address, you could figure out what he was up to. He spoke well of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. Heastie is the key. He’ll be calling the shots on a Cuomo impeachment. Speaker Heastie has been playing his Cuomo cards very deftly. Not so much Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who told him to get politically lost. If he spoke at all about the Lieutenant Governor who would take his place, at least temporarily, I must have missed it. For now, Andrew is hanging tough. If another woman were to come forward, it doesn’t seem to matter. It has reached the ho-hum stage.

It now comes down to what the Andrew haters will do. Let’s not forget that this guy never, ever, never, ever, ever forgets. So if you say, “Oh well, let him get by,” you might end up being very sorry. Most of his enemies slink off the field, eventually defeated. Look at Mayor Bill de Blasio, who I think once thought that he could be president of the United States. Goodbye, Bill. You had better believe that the Democratic players in both houses of the legislature, particularly the Assembly, will be pressuring for a Cuomo political death knell. I would not want to be the Speaker who will call the shots right now. On the other hand, Heastie wants to keep his own job so along with the Attorney General, Letitia James, he has tried to put the onus on an outside investigating group.

The question is, whether to beg forgiveness or whether to go for it. What would you do? As Emerson said, “When you strike at the king, you must kill him.”

Among the amalgam of charges that Cuomo faces, some, like the nursing home screw up, are serious. The Republicans have a problem. It’s a DemocratIc state and no one showing their face right now has a shot at beating Cuomo. I certainly don’t see anyone who might primary him winning. Polls show that people don’t want Cuomo to resign, but they don’t want him to run again.

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].