It would take more than a few mistakes for her to lose
Andrew Cuomo has now officially missed the boat. He had his shot, but his former lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, seems to be where she wants to be. She’s a smart woman and unlike Cuomo, she has not accumulated a lot of enemies and seems set for reelection. It would take more than a few mistakes for her to lose. She does have some things going against her. She comes for the upper, far reaches of the state. If the people of downstate New York were to see her favoring the Buffalo area, they might turn on her. So far, she seems to be playing her cards right and more importantly, who would replace her? No one seems to be making any such moves. I am quite sure that Andrew is plotting a comeback but I really can’t see how he’s going to do it. As I have said over and over, he sure doesn’t seem to have any friends left to help him advance himself.
In the meantime, a lot of people are talking about New York Mayor Eric Adams. He should be the top man in New York’s educational bureaucracy. It makes great sense to have the mayor at the top of the group. One can only wonder what other organization chart would work. It really can’t be any other way. If Adams messes up, he should be held responsible. He’s an interesting man who knows what it’s like to function in a political bureaucracy. Of course, we have to remember that Adams has a long history as a cop. That means he knows how to function in a top to bottom military organization. The man knows how to maintain a position of power and he is not going to let anyone walk over him.
Having served as a cop, Adams understands how people feel about the rising rate of crime in New York City. Nothing disturbs people more than having their safety threatened. The idea of having a person of color coming from a successful career in law enforcement made a good deal of sense to the people of New York when choosing a mayor. However, if the crime rate continues to increase, Adams’ political success will not be enough to keep him in office. When people vote, they will vote for a leader who can keep them safe. It really is quite simple. The two things that will contribute to the reputation of a politician are keeping the crime rate in check and keeping Covid under control.
Unfortunately, people were ready to have conquered Covid. They were taking masks off and operating as if the pandemic was over. They were tired of obeying the rules that up to now had been keeping them relatively safe. They just wanted it gone, over, finished. Any politician who leaves folks vulnerable by saying it’s all over when it clearly isn’t (a lot of people are still sick) may suffer the consequences brought on by optimism.
So where will Eric Adams go from here? He seems to be very careful about keeping his options open. As I have previously observed, he talks to the governor and he talks to Andrew. Since Andrew seems to be falling off the political radar and since the governor seems to have garnered considerable political clout, the way seems clear. Andrew is not likely to go quietly into the night. Knowing him the way I do, I am sure that he is plotting something to keep himself powerful. Andrew’s political enemies will not quit. I don’t think that in all my years I have ever seen the entire political establishment go after anyone the way that they did with Andrew. Keep your eyes on Eric Adams. Clearly, he sees Andrew as a power.
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].