LET THIS BE A LESSON
Let this be a lesson to everyone.
What happened to Andrew Cuomo can happen to anyone at some point in their lives. You just never know when a good life can turn really sour in one hell of a split second.
Andrew was desperate to have a fourth term. In the case of the governorship in New York, there is no law against fourth terms. We really don’t know why this was so important to him. Maybe he was competing with his father, who was denied his chance to set that record. Maybe he was honoring his father. Maybe a little of both.
My troubles with Andrew started early when he decided that he would deprive Carl McCall, then the state comptroller, of his chance to run for governor. Had McCall won, he would have been the first Black governor of New York. Frankly, I was infuriated. I said so and, as I have written here before, it came between me and Mario and basically killed our long-time relationship. This was just one example of how many people had dysfunctional relationships with the man in the hot water.
I can’t stop thinking about how many people came down hard on Cuomo — virtually every politician on the New York roster called him out for the various sins that he was accused of having committed. We are talking United States Senators and members of Congress and district attorneys. People in the state legislature didn’t wait to “pass go” before they started the impeachment process. The name of the game was to get him to resign and the only way to do that was to tell him that if he didn’t get out, he would be thrown out.
Of course, Andrew brought this upon himself. We all know someone who has no friends. What’s more, the so-called friends he does have are not the kind your mom would want you to play with. When he really needed someone to come to his aid, there was no one there. There has to be a children’s book with that theme. We heard from so many people who worked for him now or in the past. They were straight out brutal, showing all the marks of people who felt he had abused them but now had an opportunity, maybe even an obligation, to hit him back. That’s the way that things are with a bully. Had he learned more from Papa Mario about how to make and keep friends, things might have been different.
Had he stayed with his wife and kids, had he stayed with any of his girlfriends, he might not be where he is now. Things ended up badly for him and there was no one to speak for him or to help. His lieutenant governor who had carried the Cuomo flag for so long didn’t have a word to help him. We get that. Cuomo had asked her to step aside and she refused. My bet is that she will never get over that one.
Now the betting has started. Will Kathy Hochul grab the golden ring? Or will Attorney General Letitia James get the chance to be the state’s first woman governor? Hochul comes from a part of New York which general doesn’t produce Democratic state wide governors but if she is an incumbent, maybe she will get to stay.
The point is that Andrew Cuomo can blame only himself. What he did was just wrong. But the incredible thing here is that the entire political establishment has united to kick him out. The Republicans have little chance of capturing the governorship. Andrew Cuomo is going to have hard time looking in the mirror. He will have all that book money and he will continue to move and shake but the fact is, he’s really done.
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].