Resignation Marks Stunning Downfall for Cuomo

NY governor 'ran out of moves'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2021 2:59 PM CDT
Cuomo 'Ran Out of Moves'
In this still image from video, Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021.   (Office of the Governor of New York via AP)

It's being called one of the most stunning downfalls in recent American political history: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has resigned in disgrace, a week after state AG Letitia James said a report had concluded that the Democrat sexually harassed 11 women. With the state Assembly moving toward impeachment, leading Democrats including President Biden calling for his resignation, top aides departing, and criminal investigations opened, Cuomo had "run out of moves" despite more than a decade of amassing power "ruthlessly and effectively," writes Katie Glueck at the New York Times. More:

  • A "Shakespearean fall from grace." Politico calls it a "Shakespearean fall from grace for the three-term governor, who had once been considered a possible presidential contender and likened to FDR, another New York governor. Cuomo was praised for his handling of the pandemic and appeared set to win a fourth term, but things started to fall apart earlier this year when it emerged that the true number of nursing home deaths had been covered up. Multiple accusations of sexual harassment soon followed.

  • Cuomo's successor. Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday that his resignation will be effective in 14 days. NBC looks at his successor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. The 62-year-old, who will be the state's first female governor, has a long history in state politics and makes a point of visiting all 62 counties every year. "As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State's 57th governor," she said Tuesday, describing Cuomo's decision as "the right thing to do."
  • Relief at Cuomo's departure. Cuomo's resignation was met with relief from lawmakers and the women who said he harassed them. "Never thought I’d see this day," said Democratic state Sen. Jabari Brisport, per the Times. Attorney Mariann Wang, who represents two of his accusers, said her clients are "both vindicated and relieved that Cuomo will no longer be in a position of power over anyone."
  • More reactions. The AP has statements from state and national lawmakers—and from the first woman to come forward. "From the beginning, I simply asked that the Governor stop his abusive behavior. It became abundantly clear he was unable to do that, instead attacking and blaming victims until the end," said former aide Lindsey Boylan. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration's view "is that this is a story about these courageous women who came forward."
  • Cuomo apologizes to state trooper. One of Cuomo's 11 accusers is a state trooper who says he touched her inappropriately on several occasions, once running his hand over her stomach. He apologized to her in his resignation speech, the Washington Post reports. "I didn’t do it consciously with the female trooper. I did not mean any sexual connotation. I did not mean any intimacy by it. I just wasn’t thinking," he said. "It was a mistake, plain and simple."
  • Investigations will continue. Cuomo's decision will not halt the multiple investigations of his conduct. Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said Tuesday that the move will not affect the criminal investigation of allegations Cuomo groped aide Brittany Commisso at the governor's mansion, reports the Albany Times Union. "It was never about his office although I appreciate him putting the people of New York first and stepping aside," the sheriff said.
  • More on that ruthlessness. In a Daily Beast story that could serve as an obituary for Cuomo's political career, William Bredderman describes him as an "ideological shapeshifter" who used his position as the state's AG to undermine his two predecessors as governor, Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson. He got his start in politics by working on father Mario Cuomo's campaigns for mayor and governor in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1977, the young Cuomo was accused of disseminating "Vote Cuomo Not the Homo" posters during his father's campaign against Ed Koch.
(More Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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